Citrus production in Morocco is expected to increase this year due to the effect of alternate bearing trees, but groves in Souss, the largest production area are still under threat of locusts as the government diverts substantial resources in an attempt to control them.

Most of the forecast increase in volume and in exports is expected in mid-season and late-season orange varieties, according to the Moroccan citrus producers’ association Aspam.

Overall easy-peelers are expected to increase by 8.5 per cent to 442,900 tonnes. The largest gains are in the biggest volumes varieties: clementines which are forecast to increase by 8.7 per cent to 326,000t and Nour by 24 per cent on 2003-04 to 67,000t. Ortaline, Afourer, Nova and Fortune production are all expected to decline slightly.