Mohammed VI Foundation saves Argan trees with solar energy

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Mohammed VI Foundation for Research and Conservation of Argan trees was awarded lately at the COP22 for its project “Solar energy in Argan groves”.

Argan trees are a source of income for thousands of families in the southern region of Morocco. Why? Because all the parts of this ancient tree are exploited. The peel of fruits are food for livestock. Also after the extraction of oil, the starch paste of Argan is used in cosmetics’ industry. But, there is a practice that puts a threat on this heritage: using the tree’s branches for cooking or heating.
In order to fight against this practice and protect this wealth in general, Mohammed VI Foundation for Research and Conservation of Argan trees has deployed a program in partnership with the Union of Women of the Arganeraie (UCFA). A program, whose section “children and women of the arganeraies adopt solar cookers”, has recently earned the Foundation an award at COP22.

The award was presented to the Foundation by the Women and Gender Constituency, a civil society observer in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“The awarded project allowed the establishment of 140 solar cookers in three argan schools in the province of Essaouira and a transfer to argan families after a few years of raising awareness among mothers that are argan oil producers,” explained Jamila Idbourouss, president of the UCFA.

According to the same source, this experience that saves 5 to 10 kg of argan wood per day and per cook must be spread out to regions where the UCFA is active. Composed of 22 entities, a total of 1200 women in all the provinces of Souss-Massa, the Union includes cooperatives in Chtouka Ait Baha, Tiznit, Taroudant, Sidi Ifni and Essaouia, 6 provinces in total.
Furthermore, another project of the Foundation that will soon be established will bring electricity in many villages thanks to solar panels.