Climatic constraints throughout the country and the loss of aquifer reserves in the Souss valley affect not only the new harvest but also the export potential, estimated between 500 and 600,000 tons, for an orchard area of about 110,000 ha. “In 8 years of drought in the Souss Valley, we have lost 30% of our citrus orchards,” laments Mouisset Abderrezak, president of the M’Brouka cooperative and co-manager of the Fresh Fruit group. The dam has no more water reserves and the valley does not yet benefit from a desalination station project, unlike the coastal and market gardening area of Massa.
Conventional boats offer more suitable solution for citrus exports
The Fresh Fruit group has adapted its exports this season to the Russian market by using conventional refrigerated ships. This same logistics solution has been used for several years in North America with several advantages including the short transit time guarantee and a direct connection from the port of Agadir.
Currently, conventional ships better meet the needs of exporters in these markets compared to existing container solutions which, moreover, have reached a vertiginous average freight rate increase of over 120% compared to pre-Covid levels, according to Mohamed El Mehdi Benbrahim, logistics director of Fresh Fruit.
The Fresh Fruit group exports approximately 70,000 tons of citrus fruits to North America. It also manages on behalf of its members the logistics for approximately 2,500-3,000 containers in other markets, including Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.