Rabat, 10 May 2022 (TDI): May 10 is known as the international day of Argania, and the theme of the year 2022 is to reinforce resilient communities adapting to climate change and the empowerment of rural women.

The cooperation of International Cooperative and Agricultural Organizations can help to promote resilient communities by proposing local solutions for sustainable development.

The argan tree (Argania Spinosa) is widely found in the Sub Saharan region of Morocco. The tree grows in arid and semi-arid areas and is known as the defining species of woodland ecosystem, Arganeraie.

The argan tree is one of the most resilient types of a tree as it persists in harsh environments. The tree does not risk erosion and survives in poor quality soils and lack of water.

Background:

Apart from economic, social, and environmental benefits in Agroforestry and resilience, the argan tree is a cultural heritage recognized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The organization designed endemic production areas as the “Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve” in 1988. In 2014, the tree was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity.

In 2018, the Argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system of Ait Souab-Ait Mansoor in Morocco was recognized as a “Global Important Agricultural Heritage System.” In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 10 May as the International Day of Argania.

Multifaceted benefits of Argania

Argan tree is not only aesthetically pleasing but holds a strong socioeconomic position due to forestry, livestock, and agricultural utilization. The tree provides food even in drought.

The fruit and leaves of the tree are edible. The tree’s wood is also used as fuelwood for heating and cooking. Argan tree plays a three-dimensional role in sustainable development by offering economic, social, and environmental benefits to the local communities.

The production of argan oil has economic benefits and is an ideal source of financial inclusion for indigenous and local communities. It facilities the empowerment of local women and is instrumental in providing jobs for the local workforce.

The agro-forestry-pastoral system of Argania is ideal for climate change mitigation and adoption due to the application of Matifiya. The Matifiya system utilizes a traditional rainwater management system by carving reservoirs in a rock.

Benefits of Argan Oil

Argan oil holds a significant position in preparing many medicines, culinary, and cosmetic products. It is extracted from the seeds of the fruit and is termed “liquid gold.” The oil has the ability to treat cardiovascular diseases and provides immense benefits for the skin.

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