MOROCCO – Morocco’s avocado exports are on track to hit a historic high for the 2023-24 agricultural season, despite grappling with ongoing water scarcity issues.

With just four months left in the season, projections suggest that the country’s total avocado shipments could exceed 60,000 tons, marking a significant milestone.

Preliminary data from the Moroccan Avocado Association underscores this potential achievement, indicating a promising outlook for the industry.

According to reports from EastFruit, a website specializing in agriculture, Morocco saw a surge in avocado exports between July 2023 and January 2024, totaling approximately 40,000 tons valued at USD 120 million.

The growth in avocado production can be attributed to favorable climatic conditions and the expansion of agricultural areas, which have bolstered output by 20% compared to the previous year.

Despite these gains, challenges persist, particularly concerning the water-intensive nature of avocado cultivation and the impact of government subsidy removal on irrigation for new plantations.

Morocco’s avocado exports are primarily directed towards four key European Union markets: the Netherlands, Spain, France, and Germany.

However, the United Kingdom has emerged as another significant importer, maintaining strong trade ties with Morocco post-Brexit. Efforts are underway to diversify export destinations, with the country shipping between 700-1,900 tons to other markets annually, including emerging destinations like Georgia.

Last year, Morocco came close to breaking its avocado production record, producing an estimated 40,000 tons, according to FreshPlaza. Abdellah Elyamlahi, CEO of Moroccan Export Optimum, expressed confidence in surpassing this milestone in the upcoming season.

Concerns over water scarcity have loomed large in Morocco, with the Ministry of Agriculture acknowledging it as the most severe crisis in four decades.

Despite assurances from government officials to address the issue, reports indicate that the country’s expanding fruit production relies heavily on irrigation, exacerbating water demands.

In navigating these challenges, Morocco’s avocado industry demonstrates resilience and potential for growth, driven by innovation and adaptation to evolving conditions.

As the country continues to strive for sustainable agricultural practices, the success of its avocado exports stands as a testament to the determination of its farmers and stakeholders to overcome obstacles and seize opportunities in the global market.

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