Enhancing Nutrient Management of Moroccan Citrus Orchards
Theme: Precision Nutrient Management
Morocco is one of the important citrus producing and exporting countries in the world. However, the average yield remains very low compared to other Mediterranean countries. Besides yield, fruit quality is another major concern for Moroccan citrus producers because the fresh fruit market has demanding standards for external (e.g., size) and internal (e.g., nutritional composition) fruit quality.
Adequate nutrient management is a crucial factor to ensure both optimum yields and good fruit quality. Most of the current fertilization programs are either based on very old, local recommendations that are no longer suitable for new cultivar-rootstock associations. Some citrus producers, smallholders in particular, use their own experience for nutrient management without any preliminary knowledge about soil and tree nutritional status.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new fertilization programs adapted to the local soil and climate conditions. Best nutrient management practices based on a 4R nutrient stewardship framework has demonstrated benefits in enhancing nutrient management of annual and horticultural crops. In this context, further research is required to assess the current nutritional status of citrus orchards and develop suitable fertilization recommendations, including both macronutrients and micronutrients.
Enhancing nutrient management practices of citrus orchards in Morocco based on the 4R nutrient stewardship framework.
Activity 1: Literature review on citrus fertilization.
Activity 2: Diagnostic study on fertilizer farmer practices of citrus in Morocco.
Activity 3: Field and greenhouse experiments to assess the effect of nutrients on yield and quality of citrus, and determine the optimum rates and source of fertilizers and the appropriate time and application placement.
Activity 4: Training and field days programs for farmers and extension agents on the best nutrient management practices of citrus.