HAF strives to engage rural women in medicinal and aromatic plant nursery management so that they may generate income independently, thus improving their socioeconomic status.
Seventy percent of all farmers are women according to the World Food Programme. In Morocco, women are actively involved in agriculture in rural areas but traditionally women play only a marginal role in formal community decision-making. Tree and plant nurseries are vitally important both to the agricultural development and the continuing struggle against climate change.
Women’s role in HAF nursery projects:
HAF has established two women’s nurseries (one in the Ouaouizerth commune of the Azilal province, and one in Toubkal commune of the Taroudant province). These projects engage their cooperatives through capacity-building programs including in project management and agricultural techniques.
These nurseries have been built on land lent in the name of women’s groups, so sale of fruit trees and medicinal and aromatic plants directly generates income for women. These female agriculturalists and entrepreneurs are active stakeholders in the design and implementation of community-managed nurseries, expanding traditional social and gender roles in the agricultural sector.
HAF encourages self-reliance by training local agriculturalists in the skills and knowledge needed to maintain the nurseries, create green jobs, and transfer resource-efficient farming techniques to the community as a whole. Organic certification generates value-added produce, which is then marketed and sold with support from farming cooperatives established by HAF and local communities. Resource management, including water management with advanced irrigation systems, enables rural communities to make the change to green farming techniques.