When we think olives we immediately think of Greece, Italy and Spain. Morocco is second to Greece in exporting olives to the worldmarket.
Morocco is mainly a producer of olives with an increase of production and exporting of olives yearly. This increase is owed to constant olive tree planting. The last few years Morocco took the lead over Greece, as an exporter of olives. Morocco is also on a mission to increase olive oil production.
The olive as we know is a small fruit with a very bitter taste and a pit in the middle. It has to go a certain curing process to be ready for the table. The olive until reaches the ripe stage, goes through colors, starting from light silvery green, to deep purple, to brownish maroon and finally to black. Before the olive comes to its final stage of ripening and ready for curing, the development stage of the olive starts.
In the mid of spring the olive flowers are blooming and slowly they become small beads. These beads continue to grow until September and October when the olive is fully grown and formed. At this time the picking and curing starts. This process goes on until the end of February.
It has been defined that the olive’s existence has been the basic form of development and prosperity of many civilizations. Before the existance of written history and before the Bible, fossilized olive leaves dated al the way back to 37,000 years ago, were found on the Greek island of Santorini.
Many nations claim the olive as their own, but discoveries give that claim to Greece, time and time again.
The olive tree is traced back to the Greek colonizers in Cicily, who brought the tree to the island and later to the mainland and west.
The Romans planted olive orchards in the North Africa and slowly in all the Mediterranean islands and Southern Europe, the whole land was covered with olive trees.
Olive is Morocco’s most important crop, because of its significant agricultural development. The Moroccan government is determined to promote the agricultural development of the olive crop. Every year the olive production is about 350,000 to 400,000 tons and increases constantly since 1986.
The worldmarket’s demands are the result of Morocco’s inhancing olive industry and entering that market’s demands. The most important variety of olive is the Baldi Picholine.