Covid-19 boosts demand for organic food in Morocco

Earlier this year, Morocco saw the introduction of some of the strictest lockdown measures in Africa as the authorities struggled to contain the spread of Covid-19, and Consonews.ma reports that the pandemic also impacted local consumption habits, with a surge in demand for organic food, albeit from quite a low base.

Slim Kabbaj, president of industry group Le Club des Entrepreneurs Bios (CEBio), told the website that “Although it is a niche market, organic is booming,” with these products steadily becoming more widely available through both modern and traditional retail channels.” Local e-commerce player Epicerie Verte launched an online delivery service for organic food in a number of the country’s largest cities as long ago as 2018.

Website Agrimaroc.ma reports that “People are looking for healthy food to feed their families – fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains … The pandemic has spawned a growing awareness of the health and immune system benefits of a natural and balanced diet … People are more concerned with where food comes from.”

The area devoted to organic agriculture in Morocco reached 11,000 hectares (110km2) at the end of last year, according to CEBio’s Kabbaj. Earlier this year, Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s minister of agriculture, stated that the government wants to increase this figure to 300,000 hectares (3,000km2).

The Sagaci Research View: While most of this output will be destined for export, it should also help to bring prices down domestically, making organic food affordable to more local consumers.