The season for potatoes within the Loukkos region, located in north-west Morocco is advancing in perfect conditions, not affected by the devastating drought which the country is suffering from. According to Oussama Didouch who is a producer of different fresh vegetables.
Didouch states, “After a month and 22 days of we planted the first crop, we are now at the point of tuber development. The Loukkos region, specifically in Laaouamra We still have adequate groundwater resources. The cold isn’t so severe as it was in previous seasons, and this has saved us the damage caused by frost. The weather has been extremely humid. relative humidity, which has slowed photosynthesis particularly towards the beginning of the year however, we’ve managed to get through these circumstances.”
While potatoes are able to be harvested at least three times per year The grower has decided to opt for a different way of producing and explains it this way: “After the potato harvest We prefer to cultivate sweet potatoes during May, followed by zucchini. That’s the reason we harvest our potatoes every year once. Additionally, in contrast to most cultivators who rely on traditional methods using mulching, we choose to use it and use only homologued treatments and this results in a greater cost of production in comparison to other growers.”
Regarding kinds, the producer says, “The most popular and well-known varieties of the producers of the area are Diamant Memphis, Nicola, and Spunta. They are mostly designed for local markets. We decided to go with the Memphis selection in consideration of the tastes of customers, specifically in terms of the color, texture as well as, obviously, efficiency. Following a very successful year this year, we expanded the area of our operation from 1.5 acres, and the production of 34 tons which grew to 2.5 Hectares this year.”
In light of the urgent demand in the local market and the increasing inflation of the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables, Morocco has banned the export of potatoes and other fruits and vegetables – into West Africa and has introduced subsidy to help support the production of potatoes. According to FAO data, Morocco produced 1.7 million tonnes of potatoes between 2022 and 2023 and exported 53000 tons as well as imported 54 tonnes.
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