Rabat - New technologies for the efficient harvest of olives and olive oil have made it possible for Moroccan youth to continue the work of family farms without compromising their economic prospects, according to a new report by Reuters.
Rabat – New technologies for the efficient harvest of olives and olive oil have made it possible for Moroccan youth to continue the work of family farms without compromising their economic prospects, according to a new report by Reuters.
The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Moroccan government has supported a team of seven men and three women to teach olive farmers the latest innovations in harvesting the edible products of the trees found in abundance in the Moroccan countryside.
“I thought about leaving for the city too,” said 30-year-old team leader El Badaoui Abdelatif. “But with all the training and equipment we have received, the situation is more stable for young people here, our quality of life is better, and I don’t think about going anymore.”
The modern equipment distributed by Abdelatif’s team includes battery-operated pruning shears and vibrating tree rakes that collect olives as they fall from tree branches. Ninety-percent of the farmers in villages who have hosted the team have benefitted from the new techniques.
The project has improved per tree olive harvests from 20 kg to 100 kg more, according to the program’s administration. This excludes improved olive oil production – spearheaded by farmers delivering olives for pressing within 24 hours of picking, instead of waiting two or three months, as they had done in the past.
Agriculture in Morocco provides employment for 40 percent of the workforce. The sector’s long-term sustainability was threatened by low rainfall this year, causing the kingdom’s GDP growth rate to halve in 2016.