Olive tree planting with 200 Moroccan families

Mar 31, 2014

Using Olives to Develop Rural Moroccan Villages

Moroccan Olives
Moroccan Olives

It’s olive planting season in Morocco!  Olives are a part of HAF’s innovative business model to sustainably address socioeconomic challenges with organic agricultural development. Organic certification of produce increases market value, which doubles household incomes thus ending the cycle of poverty. HAF has trained 820 farmers in organic farming techniques and is now marketing this produce internationally to generate added income, which will be reinvested into additional community-identified projects. This model provides a sustainable source of funding to implement projects identified in each community’s Communal Development Plan (which Moroccan law mandates that each commune create), including in resource management, health, education, and women’s and youth empowerment.

HAF’s social enterprise, called High Atlas Agricultural and Artisanal (HA3), has created an agricultural development process that is comprehensive, sustainable, and transferrable. It will generate income and is based on the expressed needs of the local population to increase their livelihoods. A percentage of the sale of agricultural organic raw and value-added products will bring transformative development to rural areas.  Certification of organic fruit and nuts significantly increases the value for family farmers.  HAF’s social enterprise will connect these products with global purchasers.  HAF’s training programs experientially teach agricultural technical techniques, natural resource management, professional skills for marketplace success, and participatory planning and management. Skills gained from these trainings advance the identification and implementation of projects. This approach combines technologic and business knowhow with optimal farming strategies to vastly improve livelihoods of rural families through sales of organic fruits and nuts, and in the future other products, while creating a revenue stream to enable HAF to reinvest in new agricultural and human development projects (such as in education and health). A percentage of the new revenue generated will return to HAF for the implementation of other community project priorities.  

Rural Women Harvesting Olives
Rural Women Harvesting Olives

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Project Leader

Alex Stein

NYC, NY (US) and Marrakech, Al Haouz (Maroc), Morocco

Where is this project located?

Map of Olive tree planting with 200 Moroccan families