Moroccan farmers turn to biological agriculture in increasing numbers.
Organic products sell for 20% more than conventional farming equivalent and it’s also better for the planet.
Chibane Allal is an independent organic farming specialist. It gives us an insight into organic farming in the country.
“This (organic farming, ed.) developed in Morocco from 4,000 hectares in 2010 to 12,000 hectares today (latest data of 2019, ed.), and in terms of production, we have reached 120,000 tons, 21,000 tons are for export and the rest is sold on the local market. It should also be noted that there is a significant political will in this direction and with regard to the development of organic production,” he said.
Former sociologist turned organic farmer Fattouma Benabdenbi Djerrari owns an ecological farm Jnane Lakbir located 20 km west of Casablanca.
“Seventy percent of agriculture is small farmers who have less than five hectares, which means that we can support them a lot to go and develop this agriculture, there are people to do it, there are already has know-how that simply needs to be readjusted, updated and corrected if necessary for sustainable agriculture, in any case all of Africa must evolve towards sustainable organic agriculture,” the farm owner said.
The transition of conventional to organic farming takes three to four years before the first products can meet organic standards.
This organic farmer explains why he decided to change.
“I chose organic farming for several reasons, including offering the consumer a clean product. And I no longer use chemicals and fertilizers, which is why I prefer organic farming,” said the organic farmer, Abdellah Laali.
The rise of organic farming goes hand in hand with the growth of organic fertilizers.
Pierre Galtier co-founded the company that manufactures organic fertilizers from insect excrement.
“We receive and collect the waste, we feed it with our insects, we transform the excrement (excrement, ed.) of these insects into fertilizer and the insect is transformed into protein which can then be used for animal feed and fertilizer which will be used either in organic farming or in conventional farming,” concludes Galtier.
According to Moroccan ministry of agriculture, organic farming totals more than 1.4 million working days in 2019.