September 27, 2022
US Grains Council to enhance aquaculture engagement in Morocco
Representatives from the US Grains Council's Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) office visited Morocco to expand their involvement in aquaculture there, as they see the sector as a significant growth opportunity for American distillers of dried grains with solubles (DDGS), Fish Information & Services reported.
The poultry and ruminant sectors use most of the 3.5 million metric tonnes of US feed grains exported to Morocco. However, the rising demand for high-protein foods in Morocco, a trend that is also being observed more broadly in North Africa, is opening up new prospects for the domestic aquaculture industry and developing a new possibility for the use of American feed grains in Morocco.
Ronnie Tan, a USGC regional aquaculture specialist based in Southeast Asia, was invited by the Council to help with this effort by promoting the aquaculture programme in Morocco.
The office planned a sizable national aquaculture event. Numerous current industry hot topics were covered at the event, including the demand for aquaculture feed, DDGS's outlook, trends, and future prospects, the integrated shrimp and tilapia model, current threats to the sector, and the solutions DDGS can offer.
Morocco is currently the largest maritime fisheries producer in Africa and the 25th largest producer globally, producing an estimated 1.4 million metric tonnes of seafood annually. While Morocco's fisheries sector is relatively robust, contributing 2.3% of the country's annual GDP, overfishing hinders the sector's overall productivity and sustainability. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the average annual fish consumption in Morocco is between 10 and 12 kg, which is significantly less than the global average of 20 kg per person.
Mohamed Salah Bouthour, USGC assistant regional director for Africa, saidt he Middle East and African region's top tilapia producer, Egypt, the aquaculture market in Morocco is small in comparison to other nations in the region.
He said Morocco produces only 1,000 metric tonnes of the world's balanced feed, or aquaculture feed. Through educational programming supported by our USDA Section 108 Aquaculture grant, the Council will continue to support the development of the nation's aquaculture animal husbandry industry by providing Moroccan investors and neighbourhood feed millers with pertinent knowledge and technical skills.
The Council will use Section 108 funds to launch a three-year aquaculture project in Morocco to support the growth and expansion of the sector there as well as the industry's efforts to address the bottlenecks and limitations preventing increased production. The Council is confident that these initiatives will help Morocco's aquaculture sector develop and open doors for American DDGS exports to Morocco.
- Fish Information & Services