The impact of storm Bernard on red fruits and berries in Morocco

Morocco’s Atlantic coast was struck by violent sand-laden winds reaching speeds of up to 106 km/h, resulting in significant damage to crops, particularly in arboriculture and soft fruit production. Larache, one of the most severely affected areas, witnessed the destruction of greenhouses and fruit crops. Zouhir Daissoria, representing the red fruit producer Rika, assessed the damage to red fruits and berries.
Raspberries: Zouhir reported that raspberries were the most heavily impacted by the storm. He stated, “We are currently in the midst of the third raspberry harvest of the season, and we were approaching the peak harvest set for next week. Raspberries experienced the most substantial losses in export crops, with a 70-80% reduction in volumes. Some growers even lost their entire crop. Furthermore, the plants themselves sustained damage and will need replacement. Over the entire season, this would translate to roughly a 10% decrease in overall volumes.”
Strawberries: According to Zouhir, strawberries remained unaffected as they were not yet ready for harvesting at this time of the year. While there were some losses in terms of plants, there is still an opportunity to make up for them. Therefore, the overall volume losses over the entire season are expected to be minimal.Blueberries: Zouhir noted, “Blueberries haven’t been significantly affected, as they were recently planted, with harvests expected by the end of December. In most cases, growers hadn’t even set up their greenhouses or installed greenhouse covers yet. Nonetheless, there has been an estimated 10% loss in blueberry plants.”
Greenhouses: “The damage to equipment has been substantial, with very few greenhouses still intact in the hardest-hit areas,” Zouhir added. “Across the Larache region, nearly half of the greenhouses were destroyed. The extent of damage varies among growers, with some greenhouses being damaged, some reparable, and others losing only shading nets or covers.”
Affected Regions: The storm primarily impacted Morocco’s Atlantic coast, with the most severe winds recorded in the northern part of the country, spanning from Rabat to Larache. Zouhir pointed out, “This region, which encompasses the Gharb-Loukkous agricultural areas, contributes to 62% of soft fruit production. The Souss Massa region, along with its capital, Agadir, was spared, and the red fruit season is set to occur later in that area, regardless.”

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