Fact-finding mission Morocco on post harvest losses in the apple, onion and prune chains

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Project: Fact-finding mission Morocco on post harvest losses in the apple, onion and prune chains

Status: Completed

Start: November 2015

End: November 2015

Commissioning party: Agricultural Counsellor, Dutch Embassy in Rabat

Partners: Postharvest Network

Organizations involved: Dutch Embassy in Rabat

The regions of Fes-Meknes and Midelt are significant production areas for prunes, apples and onions. Production, transport, handling and storage are often still conducted with traditional methods, leading to significant product losses along the chain. There are however frontrunners setting up new production methods serving as a modern example in their region. The Netherlands has significant knowledge and experience in the apple and onion value chains, as well as in potatoes, another important crop in that production area.

A one-week fact-finding mission was set up in order to better understand how the three chosen chains operate, to interview farmers and farmer cooperatives and to get a first overview of relevant bottlenecks, that could be starting points for further work. Additionally, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, the FAO in Morocco and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique met to get a better understanding of the policy and research context of food losses and waste in Morocco and collect information about ongoing initiatives.

The most important insights of the mission revealed that mainly traditional production and storage methods as well as inappropriate handling and transport appear to be the key reasons for significant losses. Introduction of more fit-to-purpose tools and technology as well as capacity building could lead to short-term gains. An additional insight uncovered that the general topic of food losses and waste has been receiving more attention in the recent past and awareness is steadily increasing, on governmental level as well as within the value chain. This insight offers a good foundation for starting improvement initiatives.