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Varieties Yellow peach White peach Doughnut peach
Common Name Peach Khokh
Size 19cm-21cm in circumference
Season May-October
Packing 3-5kg standard cartons, fruit nets based on weight; 1kg 2kgs.
Storage and Transport Conditions Controlled temperatures maintained below 4°C, 2-7 weeks (preferably 0°C).
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Morocco peaches are known for their delicious taste and are popular summer staples in the local fruit stands. The fruit is also exported to other countries to meet global demand. Peaches are consumed as fresh fruit, added to various dishes, or extracted into peach juice concentrate.

Peach is a fruit classified under the species Prunus persica of the Rosaceae family. A Prunus persica tree grows to an average of height ranging between 13ft and 23ft. It has lanceolate leaves that are pinnately veined and broad.

Peach fruit has a velvet skin and also has whitish or yellow flesh and is approximately 19cm-21cm in circumference. It also has a single oval-shaped seed surrounded by a wood-like husk. Khokh is another common name for peach in Morocco.

The skin is either yellow or red in colour and easily bruised. In some cultivars, the skin has small hairs known as peach fuzz. A nectarine is a peach that does not have peach fuzz.

The peach fruit is native to Northwest China between the Kunlun Mountains and the Tarim Basin. It was distributed Westward to various Mediterranean countries and later reached parts of Europe. During the 1600s, Spanish explorers were responsible for the transportation of the fruit to parts of South America.

For many centuries, the cultivation and production of peaches were limited to gardens of the noble class. The commercialization of the fruit begun in the 19th Century in the United States. In Morocco, the commercial production of peach started in the early 1960s.

Morocco peach industry grew from around 1960s and experienced consistent growth. In 1968, Morocco produced 14,000 tons of peaches, and in 2017, it recorded more than 130,000 tons of peach produce. The export value of the produce averages at $10.13m yearly.

Morocco peaches account for 0.4% of global market exports and the country is ranked 25th among other peach exporters. European is the top export destination for peaches, including other horticultural produce from Morocco. Between 2006 and 2010, Morocco exported 10% of peaches produced to European countries.

The yellow and white peach are the dominant varieties of peach produced and exported in Morocco. Other types of Morocco peaches include the doughnut peach variety. Peach orchards of these varieties are found in the area between the Atlantic Ocean and Marrakech in western Morocco.

The peak harvest season in Morocco begins in May and continues to September or October. The length of the harvest is dependent on the peach variant. Yellow peach harvest starts as early as April and runs to October, while the white peach harvest occurs between May and September.

Peaches are intolerant to cold climates and do well in moderate temperatures in sub-tropical climates. However, peaches need a minimum of 600 hours of chilling temperatures controlled at 7.22 degrees Celsius to trigger fruiting. A peach tree also does well in gravelly or well-drained sandy loams.

Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are used to optimize the yield. In terms of water intake, a mature peach tree requires a minimum of 35 gallons of water each day during the harvest period.

Morocco actively engages in the exportation of its peach produce. During harvesting, peaches are handpicked from the trees and rinsed in cold water or passed through a hydro-cooler to slow down the ripening process. They are later defuzzed and sorted out in times of quality and size.

After sorting, the peaches are then packed in aerated boxes and transferred to refrigerated containers with temperatures maintained below 4°C (preferably 0°C). These conditions are maintained as the product is transported from Morocco to target countries either by water or air transport. Maximum market life after peach harvesting ranges between 2-7 weeks depending on the variant.

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