Nabil Belmkaddem, General Manager of BestBerry agro-export company, based in Kenitra province, was recently questioned about the area planted with blueberries in Morocco. He emphasized that producers currently have more experience, more technology and above all have access to a wide range of plant varieties, most of them more productive and of better quality, so that productivity levels are becoming optimal.
He also signaled growth in terms of acreage, although the rate of increase has started to slow. In fact, the exponential growth phase of 2015-2019 has passed. In addition, growers now have a wider range of varietal options and new farms are being established in southern Morocco (Dakhla region, 23º latitude) that will provide greater earliness. It seems that the quality of the fruit is better in Dakhla, with Brix degrees above 20 and a good fruit size, due to the right weather conditions. There are also trials with varieties with high cold requirements to be able to produce in summer in the Atlas Mountains.
Belmkaddem commented that labor remains the biggest challenge, particularly in northern Morocco, because peak production on farms coincides with the need for labor at the strawberry freezing facilities, as well as the spring cycle of the raspberry. In the Agadir region, the availability of water is quite challenging. Overproduction of early varieties can also lead to low prices in the future. In addition, early and productive varieties are patented, leaving independent growers with old public varieties.