In parallel with the start of the cork harvest campaign for the year 2024 in the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra Region, the National Agency for Water and Forests is inaugurating an innovative program to modernize and professionalize the cork harvest thanks to to the integration of new cutting-edge technology.

HIBAPRESS-RABAT

As part of the implementation of the “Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” Strategy, initiated in February 2020 under the aegis of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God Glorify him, Mr. Abderrahim HOUMY, Director General of the National Agency for Water and Forests, announced on Thursday June 13, 2024 the launch of an innovative program aimed at modernizing and professionalizing the cork harvest.

This modernization program is part of the third axis of the “Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” strategy, which aims to modernize forestry professions. It takes the form of strengthening the technical and material capacities of companies specializing in cork harvesting, the introduction of modern harvesting equipment, the deployment of appropriate incentive measures, as well as the establishment of training and supervision. adequate.

This program of the National Agency for Water and Forests mainly aims to preserve cork oak ecosystems by introducing innovative techniques for harvesting cork. These new approaches aim to avoid injury to trees during harvest, thereby preserving their long-term sustainability. It should be noted that cork production requires over 27 years after initial planting.

This new technology offers better adaptation to climate change, which leads to a reduction in the harvest period, thus improving the quality and value of the cork collected.

The pilot deployment of this program is planned for 2024 in the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra region, before generalization planned for 2025 in other potential regions. As part of this initiative, a training program is launched during the current campaign, in partnership with the Moroccan Association of Industrialists of Liège, and led by specialized trainers.

It should be noted that Morocco’s cork oak forests occupy the fourth largest area in the world, offering considerable economic potential to be exploited. These forests supply cork, a non-timber forest product, to around ten specialized industrial companies. On average, these companies recycle more than 80,000 cubic meters of cork per year in favorable years. The development of these forests generates around 54 million dirhams in annual revenue on average for the 52 territorial municipalities concerned.

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