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    Ministry Condemns Rumors Questioning Quality of Morocco’s Watermelons

    This is not the first time Morocco's agriculture sector denies rumors questioning the quality of locally produced watermelons.

    05 Jul 2021

    Rabat - Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture has denied rumors questioning the quality of watermelons sold in Moroccan markets.

    The ministry issued a press release this week, explaining that the fruit complies with all safety standards and food sanitation.

    “All the tests carried out show a total absence of contaminants from this fruit,” including pesticide residues, heavy metals, and bacteria, the ministry said.

    The ministry said that, by June 20, Morocco had exported a quantity of 218,000 tonnes of watermelons during this year’s agriculture campaign.

    The statistics come in response to the rumored decline in Moroccan fruit exports due to the quality of the country’s products.

    “These exports were mainly intended for the countries of the European Union,” the ministry said in response to the claims.

    The statement argued that the EU surveillance system has not reported any non-compliance on Moroccan watermelon exported during the past five years.

    “The rumors shared on social networks about the harmfulness of this product are dangerous, irresponsible, and unfounded and are harmful to the production of watermelon crop and to farmers,” the ministry warned.

    The ministry emphasized that imported seeds are subject to “systematic, technical and phytosanitary” control at the borders to ensure their qualities.

    The statement from the ministry came just a few months after Morocco’s National Office of Sanitary Safety of Food Products (ONSSA) dismissed similar claims about the quality of watermelons produced in Morocco.

    The statement came after a member of Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) sparked uproar and concerns after suggesting that the seeds used to cultivate watermelon in Morocco are “genetically modified.”

    Watermelons are highly consumed in Morocco during the summer season, but the country also exports a sizable portion of its production.

    According to recent data compiled by Hortoinfo, Moroccan watermelons are outperforming Algeria’s products in European markets, including in France and the Netherlands.

    Morocco’s watermelon exports also moved from 79.56 million kilograms in 2016 to 241.94 million kilograms in 2020, Hortoinfo indicated.

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