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Moroccan farmers display harvest at annual strawberry festival

Moroccan farmers display harvest at annual strawberry festival

Morocco

Strawberry farmers in Morocco are showcasing their harvest at an annual festival celebrating the juicy red fruit.

The fair is designed to familiarize Moroccan strawberry growers with new methods of producing and conserving the fruit.

But festival organisers are unhappy about this year’s weather patterns.

Morocco did not export the usual quantity to the European Union as in the previous years because of climate change.

“This season, climate change affected strawberry exports because the production coincided with Spain’s. Morocco did not export the usual quantity to the European Union as in the previous years because of climate change.“Abdelkrim Naaman, Strawberry festival Director said.

Morocco was one of the top exporters of the fruit in 2014, according to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

While the climate in the north African country means that Moroccan growers are usually the first to export their harvest, an unusually mild winter meant that Moroccan and Spanish strawberries hit the market ahead of schedule, and at the same time.

“We sell part of our production in the local market and we export another part. This year, the product was abundant because the weather was hot during November and December. We had our production at the same time as Spain and Europe which affected the price. But today, we reached the industry phase where prices are stable,” Hassan Chakir, Farm manager said.

The annual event is also an opportunity for locals to sample the produce and to promote as well as celebrate the home-grown crop.