In the context of the state of sanitary emergency decided by Morocco as part of the fight against Covid-19, the food supply chain from agricultural production to its distribution on markets will continue to function normally, the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forestry assured this on Saturday.
In a press release, the ministry wishes to reassure that sufficient quantities of agricultural food products are available, which does not require any massive supply or storage measures of food products on the part of citizens, insisting that over-solicitation of these foodstuffs remains unnecessary in view of the stable state of the market but may, on the other hand, distort the situation on the supply side.
A sufficient and regular supply of agricultural food products is made possible through the comfortable situation of current availability and stocks, agricultural activity and production that normally continues in the irrigated areas, in terms of harvesting and new plantations, and import-export activities of goods that have not been restricted, according to the same source.
Regarding sugar, the availability of current stocks allows to cover more than 3 months of consumption, explains the Ministry, stating that the harvest of the current season’s sugar crops starts in early April and will further strengthen the availability of sugar and guarantee consumption needs for the following months.
For milk, the ministry continues, the current production period coincides with the high lactation season, which runs from February to July, adding that the projected milled production of 100-120 million liters per month will largely cover the needs, including those of the holy month of Ramadan.
As for red meat, slaughterhouses are operating normally and production is largely covering needs and prices are stable.
The poultry market is supplied normally. The increase in prices in some markets in recent days is due to the unusual influx of consumers, the ministry notes, noting that the situation has returned to normal.
For fruits and vegetables, in addition to the current comfortable supplies, the normal crop production schedule will ensure a continuous and adequate supply to the market. In addition, the installation of spring vegetable crops is proceeding as planned, particularly for consumer products such as tomatoes, onions and potatoes. The production of these spring crops will meet the needs of the coming months,” the statement continued, adding that crop rotation will be strengthened in areas where irrigation water resources are available, particularly in the Gharb and Loukkos regions.
Industrial milling activity is proceeding at a sustained pace and daily flour production is above the usual average of 47 percent to ensure adequate supplies for the domestic market, according to the same source, noting that wheat stocks held by storage agencies and mills provide three months’ coverage, in addition to import commitments made by professionals in the sector, which will boost the availability of cereal products.
In addition, customs duties on imports of common wheat are to be suspended until 15 June and on imports of durum wheat and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans and white beans) until further notice. The decree carrying these decisions will be scheduled at the next Councils of Government, it is announced.
The Ministry says it is carrying out a rigorous follow-up for the import of cereals, by monitoring ships from different origins until their arrival in the Kingdom’s ports with the exact dates of their docking and the volumes brought in.
The central and regional departments of the Ministry of Agriculture, Sea Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forestry remain mobilized to guarantee the continuity of all agricultural activity, the smooth functioning of the market and to ensure consumer health safety, the press release stresses.
The activity of farms and agri-food businesses continues in compliance with health measures in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry points out, noting that the employees of these entities thus continue to carry out their duties.