MOROCCO – Morocco has launched a one-of-a-kind vegetable oil production plant in the industrial park of El Marsa in the province of Laâyoune, the southern region of the country.

At a total investment of 190 million dirhams (US$52 million), the plant was inaugurated by El Moussaoui, the project’s investor on August 20, on the sidelines of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the people.

Built on an area of 19,000 m2, the plant has a daily production capacity of 100 tons of vegetable oils and is visualized to create 120 direct jobs and 250 indirect jobs in the region.

Speaking in an interview, Moussaoui said that 60% of the plant’s production will be for export, mainly to African countries, including Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad.

In addition, the project is envisioned to halt $900 million spent on importing vegetable oils as reported by the data compiled on the Trade Map platform.

“We are happy and proud to inaugurate this factory, the first of its kind in southern Morocco. We have taken care to bring it up to international health standards, to guarantee a quality product, both for the local market, but also for export,” Moussaoui said.

Morocco is a net importer of vegetable oils following the country’s structural shortcoming in the production of oilseeds.

According to Market, Morocco’s local production of vegetable oil seeds currently only covers about 2% of national consumption demand.

Therefore, through importing 98% of the raw materials needed in the manufacture of edible oils and being among the top 10 importers of edible oil in the world, Morocco suffers the full effects of price fluctuations on the international markets.

As a result, this has had severe repercussions on consumer purchasing power. In 2022, Morocco’s Competition Council highlighted the rise in cooking oil prices, attributed to limited processors as well as low production.

According to the council, locally produced oilseeds contribute to the sector only by 1.3%, adding that the severity of the increases in the prices of raw materials increases as a result of the increase in the costs of shipping and transporting goods at the international level.

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