News from the project Women of the Rif in Morocco

After a visit to Morocco, Tristan told us of his return to the planting project Women of the Rif, launched in 2012 with Pur Projet.

“The results of the plantations are good, the olive trees planted in 2012 have an average a height of 1.50 to 2 m and were covered with flowers during my visit, the harvest should be good this year, Inshallah.

However in some plots, the losses are very high. They can be explained by extreme climatic conditions, climate changes increasingly more frequent which have affected the production of oil, as well as the plantation of olive trees. The Palmer drought severity index is 5 in the Rif region, which is the maximum level.

The mountainous landscape makes access difficult to irrigate olive trees and straying herds in some cases have been lethal to some plantations. Cannabis remains very present in the area, but not in the plots of Women of the Rif, as they like to remind us.

The most affected parcels are at low altitude and on flat surfaces. This can be explained by the fact that  there is no runoff, unlike the olive trees planted on the hillsides which are themselves much better irrigated by natural runoff.

We will seek additional funding to replace those trees and strengthen the support for this project, because the needs are very important there.

Therefore we have agreed with the women to redirect the plantations for this year (2000 trees) on fig and carob trees which are much more resistant to drought. Olive trees, if demand returns, will be planted on the hillsides and in higher altitude.

Accor, project partner, also sells olive oil produced by EIG Women of the Rif in its hotels in Morocco. This provides an important economic outlet and represent a precious support for these women.

Despite the operational and climatic difficulties, the women are admirable. This is a real project of women emancipation: they are 328 now, their number is increasing (280 in 2012), which also proves the attractiveness of this EIG. “

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