Morocco Developing New Citrus Varieties

Ernie NeffInternational

The National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Morocco is developing new early- and late-season harvest varieties to support a prolonged production season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. This will allow producers to supply markets for longer periods of time and help Morocco remain competitive in international markets.  

In May, INRA launched a call for tenders for nurseries to produce the new cultivars. The tangerine/mandarin varieties are Mahdia, Gharbaouia, Maamora, Triploid Hana, Triploid Aya and Mabrouka. The orange variety is Chamsia.

FAS reported that Morocco’s citrus production estimates remain unchanged, and that weather conditions have remained cool and wet, a contrast from drought conditions and heat stress during the last two production seasons. The production expectations for the 2020-21 season are for 1.2 million metric tons of fresh tangerines/mandarins, 1.1 million metric tons of fresh oranges, 7,000 metric tons of orange juice and 44,000 metric tons of fresh lemons and limes.

The amount of citrus planted in Morocco is reported at 65,515 hectares of fresh tangerines/mandarins, 58,850 hectares of fresh oranges and 3,995 hectares of fresh lemons/limes. Morocco reportedly has approximately 20 million bearing fresh tangerine/mandarin trees, 17 million fresh orange bearing trees, and 1.68 million fresh lemon/lime bearing trees.    

Citrus industry estimates suggest that fresh orange and fresh lemon/lime exports are slightly lower in 2020-21 than 2019-20. The lower exports reflect strong local demand and competition from Egypt, Turkey and Spain.

See the full FAS report on Moroccan citrus.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service

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