Exports of fruit and vegetable from Morocco fell by 10 percent in April, with only 285,000 tons of goods shipped, compared with the 317.400 tons the country exported in April 2000, reported the ministry of agriculture in Rabat.
According to the ministry, tomato exports were down 15 percent to 174,000 tons, potato exports fell 19.4 percent to 40,800 ton, and citrus fruit exports fell by 33 percent to 318,500 tons.
These latest figures follow several optimistic forecasts voiced recently regarding the agricultural sector. Until recently Morocco struggled with drought for about two years, which was largely considered responsible for the country’s 0.8 percent fall in gross domestic product reported in 2000.
Speaking in February, Ahmed Labboudi, the head of Centre Marocain de Conjuncture (CMC), said that the country’s agriculture sector is expected to grow 39 percent. A bumper cereal harvest of 6.5 million tons over the 2000/2001 season, was expected by the Moroccan finance ministry to be catalyst for a resumption of rapid economic growth in 2001.
According to the country’s official MAP news agency, the Moroccan economy is expected to grow by 8.1 percent in 2001. Agriculture accounts for up to 20 percent of the country’s GDP. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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