Round Table 26th of April, Université Mohammed V, Faculté de Science, Rabat Development of a sustainable truffle chain in Morocco

Dutch students of the University of Applied Science in Den Bosch, the Netherlands specializing in International Food and Agribusiness will visit Morocco for a study tour to be informed about sustainable agribusiness in Morocco. Prof. Khabar of the University Mohammed V and Judith Evenaar of the Wageningen Truffle Center have established a partnership to raise awareness for the importance of fungi for  the resilience of ecosystems and to develop a sustainable truffle chain. The Dutch students will get together with students of the University Mohammed V for a Round Table discussion.

Morocco is a very diverse country. Nature, gastronomy and culture are rich and  divers. Morocco counts more than 10 species of truffles of the genera Tuber, Terfezia and Tirmania . Recent years European truffles like the summer truffle   have been found in the wild. Climate and soil conditions are excellent for cultivation of these European truffles which attract the highest prices. Three black truffle orchards were started in Middle Atlas in Debdou (2000) and Immouzer Kandar (2008 and 2014).

The desert truffle is of great cultural, economical and ecological value. Desert truffles have been used for food and medicine since memorial times  and the desert truffles are exported, generally to the Middle East. High international demand has led to increasing harvesting pressure.  Desert truffles are very important to combat desertification. However production is rapidly decreasing by overexploitation (poor regulation and wrong harvest methods), desertification, damage by increasing number of cattle and climate changes.

Establishment of a sustainable agro-industry for desert truffles and gourmet truffles will supply high value food , promote rural development, provide income, restore degraded areas,  and incorporate traditional knowledge. The goal of the meeting is to discuss the possibilities to valorize the desert truffle (terfess) in order to develop a sustainable chain.