MOROCCO – Morocco has made a profit of USD 2.3 million in the 2022-2023 season from cucumber exports to Portugal, reports EastFruit.

According to EastFruit, this marks the first time that Moroccan cucumbers were imported into Portugal throughout the year.

This significant development was driven by the severe drought affecting Europe, which led to an increased demand for foreign cucumber produce.

According to the same source, the exports of Moroccan cucumber have been on a steady rise since 2017, and It’s been three seasons now that local growers managed to increase the shipments of Morocco’s cucumber to foreign markets, and the imports of the vegetables into Portugal is also on the rise.

Over the course of four years now, cucumber shipments from Morocco to the Portuguese market grew 17 times, reaching over 2,000 tons in the 2022/23 season.

EastFruit mentioned that in the 2022/23 season, 7,700 tons of cucumbers were brought into Portugal, with Spain accounting for two-thirds of the shipments received from 6 countries, and Morocco accounting for one-fourth.

Since the unprecedented drought hit severely the Southern European countries, the shipments of Spanish cucumbers were also affected, which led to re-exports of Moroccan cucumbers.

Morocco also exported cucumbers to 31 other countries in the 2022/23 season, where a staggering 21,400 tons of cucumber brought in USD 19 million in export revenue.

Experts are expecting that cucumber exports from Morocco will surge again next year as Southern Europe will be suffering from an even worse drought this year.

Meanwhile, early this year, Portuguese authorities destroyed a shipment of cucumbers imported from Morocco to stop it from reaching markets around Europe due to claims of excess pesticide residues.

The nation had informed the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) that the pesticide oxamyl residues found in the cucumber shipment greatly exceeded the pesticide’s Maximum Residue Level (MRL), which was established at the lowest laboratory detectable level of 0.01 mg/kg – ppm.

The RASFF notification stated that the potential effects the residue could have on consumers made the Portuguese authorities’ alert “potentially serious.”

Oxamyl is considered a potent insecticide, acaricide, and nematicide against pests in the soil and on plant foliage.

Headaches, dizziness, chest pain, disorientation, blurred vision, sweating, nausea, colic, pupil constriction, or bradycardia (weak pulse) are just a few of the harmful side effects that this toxic drug can have on a person’s health.

Oxamyl can, in the worst situations, ultimately result in blindness or even death depending on the dose ingested and the frequency of exposure to the chemical.

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