For 5 years, the Jewish Community of Marrakech will offer the use of arable land for HAF to build a nursery on which to raise 80-120,000 fruit tree saplings and train village representatives in arboriculture. In the 2nd and 5th years, the trees will be donated to each household of the surrounding disadvantaged villages and by 6-8 years later, the fruit yields will at least double the income of those rural communities, economically and environmentally benefiting 10,000 people.
Morocco has a strong history of inter-religoius cooperation that is often omitted from modern rhetoric. This project establishes multicultural partnerships to tackle national problems such as rural poverty. The combination of population growth and the low market-value of traditional staple crops (such as 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.
This project will build a tree nursery of 80-120,000 fruit tree saplings, which grow without pesticides and have high market value. Local people already possess skills and knowledge to maintain these trees and market their fruit. Representative community members will maintain the nursery while learning to cultivate, prune, graft, transplant etc. By providing land for the nursery, the project can alleviate rural poverty and is another important example of Muslim and Jewish Moroccan collaboration.
The project integrates solutions to socio-economic and environmental problems, and will: 1) after 6 years increase the income of 700 households from fruit sales, benefiting 10,000 people; 2) diversify the economy and reduce urban migration; 3) prevent soil erosion and offset carbon emissions; 4) develop technical skills of 8 farmers to maintain and replenish the nursery; 5) diversify diets with fruit consumption; and 6) internationally exemplify Moroccan Muslim-Jewish partnership.