In response to the demand of rural Moroccan communities for fruit trees and their need to transition from subsistence to modern agriculture, this project will build a community tree nursery totaling 25,000 cherry and 25,000 walnut saplings in the High Atlas Mountains. Villagers especially request these particular trees because they do not require pesticides, have a high market value, and local people already possess vital skills for maintaining the trees and marketing their fruit.
85% of rural Moroccan households earn less than the national average. The combination of population growth and the low market-value of traditional staple crops (corn and barley), from which most rural households derive their income, have made subsistence agriculture unsustainable, compelling farmers to transition to plant cash-crops, most commonly fruit trees, to generate significantly greater income. The slow pace of the transition to cash crops for rural villages perpetuates poverty.
This project will build a community-managed fruit tree nursery of 50,000 cherry and walnut saplings, which thrive locally without the application of pesticides and have a relatively high market value. Local people already possess great knowledge for maintaining these trees and marketing their fruit. During the 2-year lifecycle of this nursery project, 8 community members will receive technical training in grafting, pruning, etc. in order to maintain the nursery now and to train others later.
The project integrates solutions to socio-economic and environmental problems, and will: 1) after 6 years increase multifold the income of 400 households from fruit sales, benefiting 3,000 people; 2) diversify the economy and reduce urban migration; 3) prevent soil erosion, offset carbon emissions and decrease reliance on the natural resources of the Toubkal National Park; 4) develop technical skills of 8 farmers who will maintain the nursery; and 5) diversify diets with fruit consumption.
Why tree planting in this area? These trees are adaptable to the cold of the region, and fruit trees can increase multifold each family's income while also improving their nutrition and environment. - Abderrahim Ouarghidi, Project Manager, High Atlas Foundation
Total Funding Received to Date: $5,868
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $21,011
Total Funding Goal: $26,880
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
President of the High Atlas Foundation
New York City and Marrakech,
NY (US) & AlHaouz (Maroc)