MOROCCO – Egypt has received the green signal to commence potato exports to Morocco following dwindling production due to prolonged drought conditions.

Elsayed Al-Qasir, Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, officially disclosed this development on April 11, following the approval granted by Morocco’s Food Safety Office (ONSSA) to the Egyptian Agricultural Quarantine.

Al-Qasir expressed that this stride resonates with Egypt’s strategy to broaden its agricultural export markets, thus fortifying the national economy’s cash reserves.

For Morocco, engaging with Egypt signifies a pivotal move to address a pressing demand for potato seeds amidst a six-year drought-induced production decline.

Notably, Morocco expended over USD 40 million during 2022/2023 to procure 60,000 tons of tuber seeds from the international market, marking its highest procurement level in half a decade.

While Egypt joins the ranks of Morocco’s existing potato suppliers like the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and France, its potential impact on the Cherifian market might be confined.

Despite Egypt’s status as Africa’s foremost potato exporter, with over 700,000 tons dispatched in fresh form in 2022, its seed export remains modest, tallying around 7,500 tons during the same period.

Egypt’s agricultural exports to Morocco extend beyond potatoes. Data from Trading Economics highlights that fresh produce like edible fruits, nuts, and citrus peel contributed significantly to Egypt’s exports to Morocco in 2023, amounting to USD 49.24 million.

Additionally, Egypt has ventured into new markets with its fresh produce. Notably, it has started exporting strawberries to Canada and has made successful inroads into the Moroccan market, further diversifying its agricultural export portfolio.

As Morocco navigates the challenges posed by drought and dwindling agricultural productivity, its collaboration with Egypt emerges as a strategic measure to bolster its agricultural resilience.

The approval of Egyptian potato imports not only addresses immediate seed supply shortages but also underscores the importance of international cooperation in sustaining food security amidst climatic uncertainties.


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