Morocco: The objective is to exceed 100 thousand tons in blueberry exports
Just concluded the XXVIII International Blueberry Seminar, we can now draw conclusions from the meeting. The international speakers and attendees who came from different countries were able to confirm that the blueberry industry in Morocco is a consolidated activity, which continues to rise, both in planted area and in production volumes and shipments of fresh fruit to the different markets. .
Furthermore, it is a productive activity that maintains convenient levels of profitability and its products are well received and valued by consumers, which translates into achieving prices above the international average.
The blueberry area in Morocco has grown by 800 hectares in the last season, reaching 4800 currently in the country and the industry's objective is to reach 6000 hectares planted in 2030.
Regarding the production and export objectives of fresh blueberries to world markets, the Moroccan industry's objective is to exceed 100 thousand tons in 2030, which demonstrates not only the consolidation of the Moroccan industry, but also the will to become protagonist of the international market.
Blueberry cultivation in Morocco had a late start, with only 150 hectares in 2008, and a timid start in fruit export, but the new varieties, technology, soilless management systems and the quality of the fruit, which has driven the explosive growth of the industry and its recognition in the markets.
The important flows of production and exports in the Moroccan season extend from December to June and the last seasons have remained stable, approaching 55 thousand tons sent to different markets around the world, mainly the European Community.
In addition to the privileged geographical location that the Moroccan industry has, which gives it a strategic advantage over the competition, since in three or four days its fruit is transported from the farm to the final consumer, it has a permanent support from the public and state apparatus, which translates into development support, financial plans, infrastructure and market opening, among other supports. These advantages are added to the reasonable costs available to producers and to the young but experienced workforce in the country.
In the case of the challenges, it is being able to achieve a greater presence in the Chinese market and have the same valuation as other fruit destinations. Likewise, it is necessary to control the growth in the cost of inputs (iron, plastics, fertilizers, pesticides...) and achieve a greater balance in the amounts to be paid, reducing the excessive gap between the sales price to the consumer and the payment to the producer.
Among the challenges are also the possibility of developing air transport of goods to the Middle East and Asian countries, the availability of large plots of land and solving the problems of water availability, especially in the Agadir area.
There are many more important conclusions and data left by the XXVIII International Blueberry Seminar which has just been completed in the city of Agadir and which we will analyze in other publications, but clearly the most important thing is that Morocco is consolidating itself as an important player in the global industry and its blueberry industry clearly expresses its willingness to practically double its production 2030 and enter the select group of countries that export over 100 thousand tons.