Spain: Western Sahara could increase its horticultural area
Fepex, the Spanish sectorial organization, has warned that the area dedicated to fruit and vegetables in Western Sahara could grow from the current 900 hectares to 5,000, as said in a report of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
If these forecast of an increase in acreage were to be met, Western Sahara would go from producing 64,000 tons of fruit and vegetables to half a million per year, which are the same as those included in the agricultural strategy of the “Green Morocco Plan” prepared by the Moroccan government.
Always according to Fepex, the report details that, in this region, there is a “high added value” production, especially tomato (50,000 tons) and melon (14,000 tons). It is also mentioned that these crops are an important source of employment, with an average of 15 workers per hectare.
Fepex considers that this extension of the Sahara agricultural area would have a “strong impact on the situation of the EU market regarding crops in which serious imbalances of supply and demand are already observed”.
Sources from the Spanish sector explain that the EEAS report, which also analyses the fisheries and the phosphate sectors, accompanied the EC’s proposal for a Decision, on June 11, for a modification of the EU-Morocco Protocol.