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.
Thanks to the generous support of Global Giving donors, HAF has been able to extend its work to 8 Provinces of Morocco. For example, since July of 2012, 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.
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.
In April 2013, HAF was pleased to report that we had planted with our partners 40,000 fruit saplings 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 celebrated was 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, Global Giving donors and the Jewish Community of Marrakech, this project will have positive 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),