As we see the fruits of this year’s harvest coming off the trees (as we write), it is a great time to reflect on the progress the HAF tree-planting project has made over the past decade. Since 2003, we have planted nearly 700,000 trees (about 18 times the number of trees in New York City’s Central Park), impacting about 5,000 marginalized rural families. This year we have made great strides in both our tree planting initiative and the crucial effort to get land organic certification.
What you’ve helped us accomplish so far this year:
We surpassed our previous record, planting over 235,000 fruit tress with Moroccan communities in one planting season. 100,000 walnut seeds and 15,000 almonds were planted in a community nursery in the rural commune of Toubkal in Taroudant Province. 50,000 fruit saplings were planted in a nursery at the historic cultural site of Akraich in Al Haouz Province, and in the arid Rhamna province, 12,000 olive trees irrigated with pressure-drip systems and 70,000 cactus were planted. HAF planted and distributed an additional 4,000 trees with rural children at 25 primary schools, introducing the next generation to lessons in environmental conservation.
HAF interviewed and worked with 820 family farmers to inspect their land, teaching organic farming techniques and business planning with these stakeholders. Next week, organic certifiers will come to inspect the land; once the certification is finalized, HAF will connect the farmers directly to the Vinternational market, where organic nuts have double the economic value.
With the help of new partnerships and your support, we are settling ourselves up for an even bigger harvest, with more certified organic product in the coming years. With OES (Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental Scientific Affairs) partnership, we hope to plant 250,000 almond and walnut seeds and 70,000 medicinal plants in 4 nurseries this year, all on organic certified land. Your support is CRUCIAL to enable these goals.
Please continue to support our Organic Fruit Agriculture project and help us achieve our 1 Million Tree goal! This is our year.
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President of the High Atlas Foundation
New York City and Marrakech,
NY (US) & AlHaouz (Maroc)