Moroccan strawberry demand surged in year-end festivities, benefiting both local and export markets. Larache grower Oussama Baioua notes ‘positive campaign progress, highlighting the advantageous timing of the December start, with strong demand and significant exports continuing into early January.’
‘Moroccan strawberries are in demand across various European nations, with a focus on the UK and France in my exports. The market is currently vibrant and active, and our customers express contentment with the strawberry quality,’ Oussama elaborates. Anticipating a peak in both harvest and demand in February, he notes an expected price decline due to increased market volumes. Oussama highlights diverse strawberry varieties, with San Andreas, Fortuna, and Victory being the most produced.
The Larache/Moulay Bousselham axis, a vital hub for red fruit production in Morocco’s north, is shifting focus this year. Growers are reducing strawberry cultivation due to recent challenging campaigns, opting for crops like blueberries. Oussama notes, ‘Region-wide, strawberry acreage has dropped by nearly 1000 ha.’
Despite Larache’s relative water abundance from substantial underground reserves, the persistent nationwide drought is starting to impact. Oussama mentions, ‘We’re less affected by water scarcity than other areas, but with ongoing drought and minimal rainfall, concerns arise. Growers relying on dam water face issues, while those with wells proceed unaffected. Continuing in these conditions will be uncertain without improved rainfall.’