The food sector occupies a very important place in Morocco, it should be noted that the strategies adopted under the Green Morocco Plan (GMP) have made it possible to develop the external competitiveness of food products.
It should be noted that Morocco’s main customer country for agricultural products is the European Union, followed by Russia (particularly for citrus fruit and tomato exports).
Morocco also exports to West Africa, and its exports tripled between 2008 and 2016. Indeed, Moroccan exports to the region have increased from 3.2 billion to 10.2 billion dirhams (927 € million).
Morocco’s main customers in the region are Senegal (19%), Mauritania (17%), Côte d’Ivoire (14%) and Nigeria (14%).
It should be noted that the agricultural products exported by Morocco are really very varied, so we will only note the most important ones:
If agri-food exports were able to reach 2.9 million tonnes in the 2017-2018 season, an increase of 4% compared to the 2016-2017 season, it is mainly due to the growth in the volume of citrus fruit exports in the 2017-2018 season. Indeed, citrus fruits (oranges, angerines, mandarins and clementines) reached 677,000 tonnes in 2017-2018, an increase of 4% compared to 2016-2017 (650,000 tonnes).
Olives and olive oil
Morocco is one of the largest producers of olives and olive oil. It exports 60% to 70% of the production of industrial table olives, a production that reaches an average of 90,000 to 100,000 tonnes per year.
Argan oil, which is extracted from the fruits of the argan tree (tree growing mainly in southwest Morocco) by cold pressing of small almonds, is also widely exported. Indeed, argan oil achieved a tremendous success in 2010, since then, demand has exploded and this is understandable. It is an almost unique product that offers many benefits both for internal and external use.
Saffron exports have also increased significantly in recent years. Saffron is considered the rarest and most expensive spice in the world, it is produced from the dried stigmas of a plant of the crocus family. It should be noted that it takes 115,000 stigmas to obtain 1 kilo of saffron.
Saffron is available in Morocco in the Taliouine region, south of the High Atlas Mountains.
Did you know that Morocco is the leading producer and exporter of capers? Almost all production is exported because local consumption is almost non-existent (less than 1% of production).
Production was 22,000 tonnes in 2017 and generally varies between 14,000 and 24,000 tonnes, depending on the year.
The export targets 50 countries, Morocco’s main customers are France, Spain and Italy. The latter import Moroccan capers, pack them and re-export them to other countries with other labels and other labels.
Caper plantations are located in the regions of Fez, Taounate, Safi, Taroudant and Marrakech. Capers are found in Morocco either spontaneously (about 14,000 ha) or in industrial cultivation (about 10,500 ha).
In addition, Morocco also exports other products such as mint, for which it is the world’s leading producer according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (2013 data), locust beans, green beans, figs, almonds, anise and coriander. The wine industry is also well developed in the country.
Also, the production of cotton, sugar cane, sugar beets and sunflower is expanding. There are also new crops such as tea, soya, cranberries and blueberries. These last two products are increasingly being exported, particularly to the European market.
Apart from the food sector, the fishing sector also plays a very important role in the country’s economy since a significant volume of seafood products is exported each year. Indeed, the volume of seafood exports in the 2017-2018 season grew by 7% compared to the previous year, i.e. a total of 689,000 tonnes against 645,000 tonnes.