HAF’s Organic Agricultural Project:
From Nursery to Market
The HAF’s sustainable agricultural mission is twofold: we strive to improve the livelihood of rural Moroccan communities, while maintaining an eco-friendly approach to economic growth. Morocco’s subsistence farming coupled with a weak structural processing capacity continues to decrease entrepreneurial capital and thwart human development. Family farmers are transitioning to plant cash-crops, most commonly fruit trees, to generate greater income.
In 2013, the HAF planted 235,000 fruit seeds, saplings, and trees – more than any year since HAF’s first tree project in 2003, and making four consecutive record-breaking years. All combined, we are approaching 700,000 planted (about 18 times the number of trees in New York City’s Central Park), impacting about 5,000 marginalized rural families.
These projects not only tell the story of how Morocco can most cost effectively produce the billions of trees and plants it needs (according to its own projection, to break subsistence agriculture), but indeed overcome the existential challenges that also other nations of the region and world face – pervasive rural poverty, gender and youth marginalization, and land degradation.
The HAF’s organic agricultural project spans the entire development process – from nursery to market – specifically including:
1. Building community-managed tree and medicinal plant nurseries and irrigation infrastructure (terracing, basins, wells, piping);
The HAF maintains a zero waste commitment by purchasing biomass waste including, but not limited to almond and walnut hulls (shells) to create biomass for bio energy purposes.
Continuing to look ahead, we are planting tens of thousands of wild medicinal herbs in greenhouses with women and youth, which will be harvested and commercialized for income and planted on terribly eroding mountains and plains that have forced homes and villages to be abandoned. Once such nursery is in Ouaouizerth, where the Ambassador Chris Stevens served in the Peace Corps thirty years ago, from where he went on to continue to serve until he lost his life in Libya. Projects are gateways to other projects, deeper meaning, broader impact, and messages to the global publi