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Argan

In the south-west of Morocco, rural populations are largely dependent on traditional agroforestry systems based on the presence of the argan tree (Argania spinosa), an endemic multi-purpose tree in the region. The area of ​​the Arganeraie extends in a triangular form of the coastal segment from northern Essaouira to the south of Agadir and conti...

In the south-west of Morocco, rural populations are largely dependent on traditional agroforestry systems based on the presence of the argan tree (Argania spinosa), an endemic multi-purpose tree in the region. The area of ​​the Arganeraie extends in a triangular form of the coastal segment from northern Essaouira to the south of Agadir and continental penetration to the east of Taroudant and has a population of nearly 3 million people d Mostly Berber origin. The Arganier forest covers an area of ​​about 800 000 ha spread over six provinces (Agadir Ida-Outanane, Inezgane Ait Melloul, Chtouka Ait Baha, Taroudant, Tiznit and Essaouira). The local population has many advantages: the traditional exploitation of fruits by women provides substantial income for families through the extraction and marketing of oils (for food, cosmetic or medicinal purposes) ; Livestock farming (including goats that consume the leaves of the argan tree) and crops such as barley between trees are also important financial resources for low-income rural households.

However, in this difficult context, since 1995 a promising line of argan oil has emerged, the nutritional and cosmetic properties of which make it a product of the future affecting customers with high purchasing power. This led to the creation of several women's cooperatives and the concomitant emergence of private companies focused on the processing and marketing of argan oil and its derivatives.

In recent years, considerable efforts have been made to preserve and sustainably manage the argan tree, as well as the valorisation of argan tree products, particularly argan oil.

Currently, in addition to the industrial sector being organized, a sector is emerging organized into three levels: (i) production cooperatives, (ii) promotion and marketing groups, and (iii) ) An association (ANCA) whose mission is to promote and defend the interests of cooperatives. This structuring of the sector would make it possible to retain the maximum value added in the production area.

With a production potential of 3,500 to 4,000 tons of argan oil per year, the organization and secure development of the argan oil sector is a major socio-economic challenge for this region of south- Western Morocco. The objective is that this exploitation of argan oil remains under control at local and regional level and that its added value falls to the traditional beneficiaries. In a fragile balance, the question is to develop the remunerative market for argan oil while ensuring sustainable management of the Arganeraie by the users.

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