PLANTING A FRUIT TREE NURSERY FOR RURAL DISADVANTAGED MOROCCAN FAMILIES ON LAND PROVIDED BY THE MOROCCAN-JEWISH COMMUNITY IN THE AIT BAYOUD VILLAGE, ESSAOUIRA, MOROCCO - A PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL OF THE HIGH ATLAS FOUNDATION
This project will plant 120,000 almond and pomegranate seeds and saplings over five years on 1 hectare of land, located from the outer wall of the housing building that is part of the complex of the burial site of the revered Rabbi Nissim ben Nissim, in the Ait Bayoud village of the Essaouira province. The arable land is provided in-kind by the Moroccan Jewish community for this proposed tree nursery of fruit varieties that do not require pesticides. The project is for the benefit the surrounding rural villages that are socio-economically disadvantaged.
At the beginning of the project’s first year (February-March 2012), 60,000 pomegranate and almond seeds/saplings will be planted on the contributed land, and after two years the trees will be distributed for free to approximately 500 households of the surrounding villages. People will plant the trees in their own orchards; they will also maintain them and be the sole beneficiaries of the new income generated from fruit yields. The third year, the land will be left fallow and revitalize. At the beginning of the project’s fourth year, 60,000 fruit saplings will be planted again, and will be distributed to an additional 500 households (1,000 total) at the end of the project’s fifth year. After 6 to 8 years, the 100,000 trees (factoring in survival rates) will generate for the rural communities approximately $7,500,000 in fruit yields, which will increase multiple-fold average household incomes. The project will also sustainably prevent erosion and desertification.
This proposal to partner with the High Atlas Foundation to fully implement the Moroccan community-managed fruit tree nursery kindly requests $46,450. The new Initiative to restore and preserve Jewish cemeteries in Morocco, which is under Royal Patronage, is synergistic with this proposed project that embodies diverse cultural partnership to develop rural communities that neighbor a Jewish cemetery. This proposed project is a pilot project; there are other similar special sites in rural areas that the Moroccan Jewish community can potentially contribute. The project creates a real example of Moroccan diversity and unity, and implementing it will also create a vital international example of diverse collaboration.
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President of the High Atlas Foundation
New York City and Marrakech,