The preservation of the argan tree, this thousand-year-old wealth

During the first celebration of International Argan Day initiated by Morocco and the United Nations, Aziz Akhannouch, formerly Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests, declared during this event last May, that the objective of his “department” was to reach the 400,000 ha cumulative in Morocco.

To do this, it was planned to set up a National Argan Tree Center, incubators for public and private initiatives. In addition, it will also be a question of having a platform for the development of research and documentation related to the argan tree. It is that the current Head of government had garnered points for this strategy.

And for good reason, the rehabilitation of the argan grove had exceeded 164,000 ha out of the 200,000 ha planned, or 82% of the target set in 2013. As part of the Generation Green strategy, this had confirmed the efforts of his former department. , but for as much satisfaction, this rehabilitation project should reach an objective of 400,000 ha, while the plantation of argan trees, should target 50,000 ha by 2030 instead of 10,000 ha in 2022.

In order to develop argan cultivation over the next eight years, the National Agency for the Development of Oasian Zones and Argan (ANDZOA), recently devoted an amount of 4.8 MDH to a study on the strategy to be adopted. for the development of argan culture during the next eight years. 16 prefectures and provinces are concerned Figuig, Midelt, Errachidia, Tinghir, Ouarzazate, Zagora, Tata, Assa Zag, Guelmim, Sidi Ifni, Tiznit, Chtouka Ait Baha, Taroudante, Inezgane, Ait Melloul, Agadir Ida Outanane as well as Essaouira. From this study, it should emerge a roadmap to be followed until 2030.

The creation of ANDZOA had a central role in the rehabilitation and enhancement of this natural heritage in order to create income-generating activities for the local population, by linking it to the green economy, on the one hand, and to the social and solidarity economy, on the other hand. But already, the development strategy of the oasis and argan zones launched by King Mohammed VI had contributed to many achievements on the ground, in particular a reduction in the poverty rate, which fell from 13.4% to 6, 8% between 2007 and 2019, creating more than 92,000 jobs in the oasis and argan zones between 2012 and 2019.

Despite a few constraints that one would qualify as technical, spatial and or financial having hampered the start of its implementation, the rehabilitation strategy in the environmental field has largely contributed to the achievement of the objectives set for development. oasis zones and the Argan tree and in particular with regard to the latter in view of the results announced.

The preservation of the argan tree in Morocco, this thousand-year-old wealth
Argan fruit

But for all the efforts made and achievements made, many tensions persist nonetheless. They exert such pressure on the Arganiture that its prospects could be revised downwards in view of natural and human difficulties.

As for the firsts, who better than climate change and desertification as well as the weakness of water resources to spoil the party? Regarding the human hand, we deplore the generalization of irrigation by submersion. But not only ! we are witnessing, oh modernism, unprecedented social and economic transformations in Morocco. In these regions, traditional structures are exploding and shattering. Also the management of ecosystems with regard to local customs tends to disappear. There is also demographic growth, the increase in needs and requirements and the rural exodus from which know-how is being lost.

On the other hand, the argan tree and oasis cultures could not survive urban sprawl and modern agricultural expansion (pumping of underground water). The argan tree has an extremely developed root system which represents five times its aerial part and will draw water deeply, up to 20 and 25m underground.

But the real context of the argan tree where the ANDZOA will have to act as a real point of convergence will be to rehabilitate the oasis and argan zones in terms of hydro-agricultural development and strengthening of infrastructure and equipment of based. This should make it possible to reduce the haemorrhaging of rural migrations and promulgate laws for the preservation of an authentic natural heritage, the argan tree. Said in a “learned” word (Argania Spinosa), the argan tree grows wild in the clear forest of the hilly hinterland or it is cultivated in the plains and on the Moroccan oceanic coast. The argan tree is the essential forest essence of the great Moroccan center-west. It populates most of its arid landscapes with frequent mist and gives it a very particular appearance.

The argan tree is a tree with multiple uses, forest (firewood), fruit and fodder (feeds goats), of culinary and gastronomic reputation (oil, amlou …) cosmetic (beauty products) … with the hope of growth is about ten meters. It is of a port with a rounded crown, gray and cracked bark, thorny branches (hence spinosa) and evergreen leaves in all seasons.



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