PROBLEM: RURAL POVERTY AND LOW CROP PRICES
In rural Morocco, 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, has made subsistence agriculture unsustainable.
The High Atlas Foundation has partnered with the Trustees of the Sacred Site of Rabbi Raphael Ha Cohen, Region of Akraich, Province of Al Haouz and the Moroccan Jewish Community to improve the lives of over 10,000 people in twelve rural villages in Akraich region by planting and transferring skills to local community members to maintain 80,000 fruit trees.
STEPS FOR ACTION:
This project began in July of 2012, in which a partnership was agreed upon and villages prepared for an irrigation system and nursery. The initial phases of the project involved building agricultural terraces, including delivering earth and natural fertilizer to the nursery, installing an irrigation system, and developing competencies among community members to maintain the nursery site and irrigation system, as well as general project management.
Members of the participating village communities maintain the nursery, while developing technical skills necessary to raise and cultivate healthy fruit trees. Once the seeds and saplings mature into young trees after two years, they will be distributed to each household at no cost and planted in their private orchards. After four to six years from when they are transplanted to household orchards, the trees begin to bear fruit, which can then be sold in domestic fruit markets.
This planting season, HAF planted 40,000 fruit saplings planted in a nursery in the region. Over four to six years, these trees will provide fruits that can be sold at market prices,
The second milestone we celebrate this week is the completion of the well that will provide clean water to the nursery, and to the surrounding villages.
Thanks to the generous support of the friends of HAF and the Jewish Community of Marrakech, this project will have implications for development for years to come.
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President of the High Atlas Foundation
NYC, NY (US) and Marrakech, Al Haouz (Maroc),