Moroccan oases are known for their argan trees, a species that grows only in Morocco.
Rabat – The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of oases and argan trees in Morocco increased from MAD 84 billion to MAD 129 billion (€7.88 billion to €12.1 billion) between 2009 and 2018. The National Agency for the Development of Oasis and Argan Zones (ANDZOA) made the announcement during a meeting.
ANDZOA, founded in 2010, is an agency affiliated to Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture that aims to develop oases and regions with argan trees in southern Morocco and to increase their economic output.
The agency’s meeting took place in Agadir on Monday, December 9. Aziz Akhannouch, the Moroccan minister of agriculture chaired the event.
The agency presented the results of their operations since their launch. Public investments in these regions have also increased to MAD 63.6 billion (€5.96 billion) between 2012 and 2018, reaching 69% of the agency’s 2020 goal.
The agency also created around 82,527 jobs in the regions they cover between 2012 and 2018 to reach 52% of their 2020 goal.
The organization improved access to basic services in the target regions. Between 2012 and 2018, rural electrification rate went from 95% to 99%, access to drinking water increased from 81% to 91%, and the rate of remote villages linked to infrastructure rose from 70% to 83%.
The agency added that they mobilized more than 703 million cubic meters of water to mitigate the regions’ dry climate. The number represents 64% of the agency’s 2020 target.
During the meeting, Akhannouch noted that there are still many obstacles and challenges stopping these regions of reaching national standards. However, the different programs launched by the agency are on the right track to improve socio-economic conditions of the regions’ populations, according to the minister.
During the meeting, the strategic orientation committee of ADNZOA called for extra efforts to establish regular communication between the different actors in the regions and to strengthen cohesion between the different programs.
The agency will have to play a major role in national and international initiatives aiming to develop Morocco’s southern regions and combat the effects of climate change.