Aromatic and medicinal plants: A sector with high potential to wear
Some WFPs, such as lavender, generate ten times more income for farmers than cereals.
World demand for aromatic and medicinal plants (AMPs), as well as essential oils and their extracts have increased due to their diversified and extensive use. Demand for essential oils and plant extracts depends is driving by food flavoring industries, perfume and cosmetics industries as well as industrial solvents.
The main consumers of all essential classes are the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Ten essential oleaginous crops account for 80% of the global essential oil market.
Morocco’s rich natural and geographical diversity allows it to produce a large family of plant species. The aromatic and medicinal plants (AMP) sector presents this diversity with the presence of around 800 endemic species. An important potential, second only in to Turkey. Annual production does not exceed 33,000 tons, while studies indicate an untapped potential of 100,000 tons.
The interest for niche farmers is palpable on many levels. Firstly, it is a good alternative for farmers concerned about diversification and value addition. In addition, this sector can deliver tangible results in landlocked areas with low agricultural output, as is the case in mountainous or Saharan areas.
The main aim is to prepare the sector to move from an unprocessed raw material supplier sector to a real industrial sector, offering quality, high value-added products for both the local and international markets.
Faicel El Kherchi