| ||Recently, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) visited the North Africa region for the first time when it explored trade opportunities in Morocco.
“The primary focus of the mission was to assess opportunities for grains and pulses,” says Aarij Bashir, trade and relations officer, AF. “We also met with contacts to learn of the potential for other products, such as animal genetics, honey and canola oil.”
Bread and flour plays an important role in Moroccan food security policies. The policies focus on providing subsidized flour for lower income Moroccans. Moroccans consume up to 200 kilograms of cereals every year with wheat accounting for a significant majority of that amount. Between 80 and 96 per cent of total durum wheat imported by Morocco is from Canada.
“We learned that the major couscous and pasta manufacturers in the country exclusively use Canadian durum wheat,” says Bashir. “They recognize the superior quality and attributes of Canadian durum wheat.”
Currently, high tariffs are a barrier for Canadian pulse exporters. Canada and Morocco have been negotiating a free trade agreement since January 2011.
The mission also went to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Funding for this project was provided through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.