The government is trying to curb the rise in prices

Continued increases in edible oil prices prompted the government to take measures to try to curb this upward trend. In doing so, the Executive approved, at the government council meeting on Thursday, draft decree No. 2.22.393 on the suspension of import duties applicable to certain oilseeds and crude oils, presented by Nadia Fattah Alaoui, Minister of Economy and Finance.

Decree No. 2.22.393 aims to deal with the current situation characterized by a significant rise in the prices of raw materials and its impact on the selling price of the most consumed edible oils. It has therefore been decided by the government to stop collecting the import duties applicable to raw oilseeds of sunflower, soybean and rapeseed, as of Friday June 3, after the publication of the decree in the BO of June 2.

Solicited by MoroccoLatestNews, Azzedine El Brajli, agricultural engineer and general secretary of the Association of Oilseeds of the Casablanca-Settat region, believes that stopping the collection of import duties applicable to raw oilseeds of sunflower, soybean and rapeseed contribute to stabilizing the prices of edible oils, which nevertheless remain a basic material in Morocco. That said, the engineer believes that this is not the only factor contributing to stopping the rise. Companies were also considering not raising their prices even more for fear of losing customers, he tells us.

Thus, the agricultural expert does not expect this measure to lead to a drop in edible oil prices due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, but it will undoubtedly help stabilize current prices.

The point to underline is that Morocco imports 98% of the raw materials necessary for the production of table oils, which means that it is not able to meet its needs.

According to Azzedine El Brajli, the lack of interest of small farmers in planting oilseeds is due to the lack of support from the supervisory ministry, noting in this regard that interest in oilseeds only started in 2014, but farmers and industrialists were not supported in this operation, he lamented.

The associative actor thus underlined that the cultivation of oilseed plants in Morocco, whether rapeseed or sunflower, would soften the land, calling in this regard to include these plants in the agricultural cycle.

In Morocco, the cultivation of oilseeds is practiced in the bour zones (rainfed agriculture zone), as well as cereals and legumes. But the lack of support and accompaniment does not encourage farmers to turn to these crops, notes the agricultural engineer.

In this sense, the Secretary General of the Association of Oilseeds of the CS region, stressed the need to organize the production chain of oilseed plants, as is the case for sugar plants, and encourage farmers to turn to this culture. This approach would constitute an important source of income for the latter and would increase the yield of cereals due to the rest of the land following the adoption of these plants in the agricultural cycle, he explained.

Although Morocco has an area of ​​600,000 exploitable hectares to increase the area of ​​oilseeds, in addition to the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Interprofessional Federation of Oilseeds, the results achieved remain well below outlined goals.

The European Union remains Morocco’s largest supplier of crude vegetable oils with 54%, followed by Argentina 34% and the United States of America with nearly 7%.

In Morocco, the consumption of table oils per inhabitant is 15 kilograms per year, which is a level of consumption equivalent to that of developing countries. Likewise, soybean oils are the most consumed in the Kingdom, with 90% of total family consumption, given their affordable price.

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