Due to the particular climatic conditions of this year, marked by low rainfall of barely 370 mm, and their poor distribution over time, the production of cherries in the province of Sefrou recorded a decline of 36% compared to the previous campaign. The harvest campaign for early varieties, launched in June, announces an estimated production of 2,200 T, i.e. an average yield of 4.2 T/ha.
Despite the constraints related to the marketing channels, the production of cherries in Sefrou is of particular interest and represents added value for the farmer’s cash flow, especially since it positions the city as the capital of cherries by excellence, in an international cultural context. This year, production recorded a decline of 36% compared to the previous campaign.
“This result is due to the particular climatic conditions of this year, marked, in particular, by weak precipitations which reached 370 mm and their bad temporal distribution which does not respect the cycle of growth of the fruits”, confides to us the provincial director of the Agriculture of Sefrou, Mezzour Mohammed.
He also explained to us that the passage of hailstorms in the corridors of cherry plantations, coupled with the number of hours of insufficient cold for the good start of the tree, also negatively influenced the yield. It should be noted that farmers began harvesting early varieties at the beginning of June, announcing an estimated production of 2,200 tonnes (T), i.e. an average yield of 4.2 T/ha.
The cherry picking campaign is a site that absorbs a significant seasonal wage bill, since 80% of agricultural activity is linked to the picking, sorting and packaging phase, i.e. 30,000 working days.
Selling prices vary from 12 to 30 Dh/kilo depending on the caliber and quality of production. It should be remembered that the agricultural area occupied by the cherry tree in the province of Sefrou is around 520 ha, represented by 12 varieties of imported cherry trees, the best known of which are Bigareau van (Hajjari), Bigareau burlat, Qalb hmam, Big summit, and the late yellowish Napoleon variety.
Plantation of 100 ha by the PMV
The cherry sector has benefited under the Green Morocco Plan (PMV) from the planting of 100 ha of cherry trees and the upgrading of 350 existing ha. Currently, the planting of cherry trees in private plots follows this dynamic within the framework of the new agricultural strategy “Green Generation 2020-2030”, and benefits from a subsidy of up to 60% with a ceiling of 9,000 DH/ha dedicated to the farmer as an incentive for agricultural investment.
Orchards can also benefit from subsidies relating to the purchase of agricultural equipment used in the various agricultural activities of the farm, with a subsidy dedicated particularly to areas of cherry tree plantations and other rosaceae, threatened by hailstorms via the cover. anti-hail net farms encouraged by a ceiling of 50,000 DH/ha.
When we talk about Sefrou, we refer to the cherry as the emblematic fruit of this province. Indeed, this fruit, which belongs to the family of rosaceae trees, once extended in this city in the form of gardens of beldi cherry trees which produced the black cherry, characterized by its very sweet taste and its tail renowned for its healing properties. .
This fruit was the origin of the oldest festival in Morocco, namely, the “Festival of cherries” whose 1st edition dates back to 1920, before being registered by UNESCO, in 2012, on the representative list of heritage. intangible culture of humanity.
Mehdi Idrissi / ECO Inspirations