For those in the dark about the agricultural output of Morocco let me put worry out of your minds, this country is a breadbasket and while prices have risen due to the global Food Crisis no one is in danger of starvation. That said, it is about time I said something specific about the crop that graces the fields that surround my village; namely apples.
The apple while common to my area is not well adapted to the nvironment, as the raising of apples is a water intensive activity - more so then other fruits such as peaches or cherries - but it is exceptionally profitable. A kilo of apples in a Rabat or Tangier routinely sells for 25 dirhams a kilo - or roughly 5 dollars a pound - not a bad price when one considers the cost of living in rural Morocco. For example my weekly groceries, purchased at my weekly market, are only rarely more then 25 dirhams total with vegtables normally going for around 3 - 5 dirhams a kilo. In short raising apples a family can make a comfortable living.
One of the major apple related problems though is that most families can't make a living from them - as most apple orchards in my area aren't owned by the local inhabitants of the rural villages - but rather by absentee landlords living in the urban centers of modern Morocco, whose first priority is not reinvesting their profits in the local community. Another issue is water - while this year has been wet and filled with snow - most years arent. This is an issue as apples are one of the most irrigation intensive fruit crops - especially when drip irrigation is not used. It is an even more serious concern where I live as most springs are used for irrigation, while private wells are used for drinking water. Alarming when weells run dry as they did last summer. But a useful starting point in discussing projects with people in my village.
4 years ago