Irrigation Systems for Fruit Tree Agriculture

by High Atlas Foundation

The High Atlas Foundation has been generously granted land by the High Commission of Waters and Forests in the Ait M’hamid municipality of the Azilal province upon which walnut and almond seeds as well as medicinal and aromatic plants will be planted in a nursery that will be managed by the local women’s association. This plot of land for a new nursery, that will profoundly benefit the entire region and that will be a revenue source for the member’s of the women’s group of this municipality, requires the installation of pressure-drip irrigation systems, as well as a basin to contain water for irrigation. 

Morocco is in a transition from subsistence agricultural practices and moving toward a more cash-flow based agricultural production which would be optimized by including organic procedures. As part of this transition, the country is in massive need of organic trees and plants, water efficiency systems, certifications of organic product, and processing, as well as broadened domestic and international commercialization that benefits rural farming families and their cooperatives. This tree and plant nursery will produce hundreds of thousands of trees and plants, provide an important model and training area for water conservation practices. Furthermore, the High Atlas Foundation is dedicated to the entire agricultural value chain and will work with the people of Ait M’Hamid as they build a farm-to-fork line of production. 

However, with the planting season starting January 2016, we now face the basic necessity of installing the irrigation system in order to launch this essential initiative for the municipality and province with your partnership. 

The following is a picture is of a drip irrigation in Ait M’hamid. Our hope is that we can achieve the same in in the women’s cooperative in the area.

The High Atlas Foundation secured organic certification with 23 villages of the Toubkal municipality, located in the province of Taroudant, on the south side of the High Atlas Mountains. This certification is for a 200 hectare area of walnuts and a 100 hectare area of almonds. It involved 693 farming families and is the first to have been secured for any product and in any part of the mountain region. Having vastly expanded the supply of walnut and almond product in the municipality through the planting of tree nurseries and with the increased value of the product enabled by organic certification, water-efficiency will create the opportunity to significantly expand the amount of arable land. 

The Ouray irrigation project, which will profoundly benefit 14 of the 23 villages, has been identified by the local people as their top priority initiative. The project diverts the water of a spring located 3,000 meters above the villages, along the summit of a mountain range. This will enable the building of new agricultural terraces on the entire face of the mountainside. Currently, the water from the spring produces 70 liters per second and goes straight down the mountain and into a river. The management of the water amongst the benefiting 14 villages, which includes approximately 3,500 people, has been agreed upon in recent months, has been a challenging yet productive process. 

We hope that you write to us for more information about this irrigation project which, combined with nurseries, organic certification, and the value-added processing facility, will create an agricultural boon for the region and a model for the nation. 

For more information, please contact yossef@highatlasfoundation.org

Taroudant Region (see image citation in report)
Taroudant Region (see image citation in report)

Greetings to all,

As many who are familiar with the High Atlas Foundation and its projects may know, HAF facilitates numerous agricultural projects within rural Moroccan communities. A key factor in the equation of these agricultural projects is water.

Currently in the Adare municipality of the Taroudant province, the trees covering the hilly landscape, all of which are almond, have not yet been organically certified, nor are they using water-efficient irrigation systems. HAF is working with the Adare village communities to change this by facilitating the planting an almond tree nursery--using the pressure drip irrigation system--upon land lent by their municipality throughout a 5 year period.  We are also working with local people to secure organic certification of their almond trees, which will approximately double the value of the product as compared with global organic prices. Averaging a yield of 100 tons of almonds per year, increasing the supply (via the nursery), the price, and water efficiency, will trigger agricultural transformations that will benefit approximately 1,000 farming families.

Once production gets underway, the Adare community will team up with HAF’s subsidiary social enterprise, HA3. Inaugurated in 2014, HA3 strives to build a green economy for rural Moroccan families through the marketing and sale of organic certified walnuts and almonds, such as those in Adare, grown in the Atlas Mountains.

Greater household income, along with new financing for human development projects--generated by HA3--will enable the people of Adare to reverse oppressive trends, especially the persistent non-attendance of girls in the municipality at a school level beyond the primary level. The people of Adare are dedicated to social change; this project builds upon their existing incredible opportunity, regarding their almond products, to achieve broad and sustainable social development in and around their community.

Adare has the spirit, the work-force, and the dedication: now they need the funds to kick-start this green and prosperous initiative. The HAF team knows that with the continued generous and numerous support from near and far, this goal can be achieved! The not-so-distant smell of freshly produced organic almonds is in the air- let’s get “cracking!”

Warmly,

The High Atlas Foundation Team

 

 

(Photo Citation:) 

Audley. Berber Village near Taroudant, Morocco. Digital image. Audley. Audley Travel, n.d. Web. 1 July 2015.

Moroccan Pavilion. Tafraout Almonds. Digital image. Moroccan Pavilion. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 July 2015.

Viault. Taroudant Maroc. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons, 26 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 July 2015.

Village in Taroudant(see image citation in report)
Village in Taroudant(see image citation in report)
Adare
Adare's Future Crop! (see image citation in report

Links:

Over the other side of the mountains from Tifnoute, the High Atlas Foundation is investing in irrigation infrastructure for two new nurseries this summer and fall. In partnership with the commune of Tnin Ourika and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, the High Atlas Foundation is developing two nurseries on plots of land identified and donated by the community. The long-term objective of this project is to increase women's empowerment and economic self-sufficiency through the creation of a green economy, and will be implemented by monetizing the organic agriculture value chain and participatory training to women in the community.

In addition to planting 60,000 seeds, HAF will also train a minimum of 60 women from the community in cooperative creation and management, the participatory approach, organic agriculture, nursery management and maintenance, etc. These trainings, relying on experiential learning, will help women generate more income for their households, giving greater impact to the project objectives. The use of organic farming techniques helps generate value-added products that are green economy drivers for Morocco. As part of the training, HAF will guide women to identify their villages' top priority development projects, which will further promote women's empowerment.

The work will include plot development, terracing, stone removal, manure addition and installing barbed wire fences. To ensure proper management of natural water resources, nurseries will be equipped with a drip irrigation system connected to a well. Thereafter, the seeds (saffron, fruit trees, ricinus communis, aromatic and medicinal plants—determined by the community) will be sown.

The High Atlas Foundation is grateful for your generosity that allows us to pursue this and other participatory development projects like it throughout Morocco. It makes a tangible difference in communities we work in. Irrigation and the broader establishment of nurseries allow rural communities to empower themselves economically and learn about how they can participate in the new democratic framework of Morocco.

Organic walnuts being processed for export
Organic walnuts being processed for export

Friends,

From the High Atlas Foundation Team, we wish a Happy New Year and best wishes for health and all good things.

Morocco’s model for human development creates enormous possibility for our participatory approach and organic agricultural value-chain, and for the entire region.

The High Atlas Foundation most humbly invites you to one or more symbolic tree planting ceremonies proposed for this planting season starting in January. Agriculturally, we assist communities currently in eight provinces of Morocco as they plant nurseries, secure organic certification, build cooperatives, benefit from training and create partnerships enabling processing and delivery of product to the global market.

We are engaged in all aspects of the value-chain – and we can report that it works with great results. Starting from next month, we are scheduled to export to the United States 14 tons of organic certified walnuts from the High Atlas Mountains. In January 2014, HAF planted its one millionth seed in Morocco. With our full value chain in place, we may - Insha’Allah - achieve much greater scale.

In 2015, HAF and communities propose that together we plant a total of four million seeds and saplings of 12 types of fruit trees and more than 20 aromatic plant varieties - all of which may receive internationally recognized organic certification.

This can be achieved at a total cost of $2.5 million, with a resulting direct impact on 200,000 rural inhabitants and an indirect one benefiting a further 40,000. We hope with all our heart that we may receive your support to plant this season. Every dollar enabled HAF to plant its first million trees.

We thank you and wish you a wonderful day!

Sincerely, 

Jacqueline

Workers shelling HAF-HA3 organic walnuts
Workers shelling HAF-HA3 organic walnuts

Links:

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Organization Information

High Atlas Foundation

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.highatlasfoundation.org
Project Leader:
Yossef Ben-Meir
President of the High Atlas Foundation
NYC, NY (US) and Marrakech, Al Haouz (Maroc), Morocco
$2,816 raised of $30,000 goal
 
75 donations
$27,184 to go
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