The Farmer-To-Farmer (F2F) team went to Amizmiz in order to meet two agricultural cooperatives to identify their needs, priorities and challenges. The two host organizations are Zaouia and Tigudelt cooperatives.
Zaouia is an agricultural entity that aims to contribute to the development of the olive oil sector and strengthen its role in the Amizmiz municipality, emphasizing the role of women in rural development and collaborating with various operators in the sector.
“Olives are central to the work of our cooperatives in Amizmiz!” Lalla Najia, an enthusiastic president of the “Zaouia Cooperative” expressed.
The co-op is located in Amghras Village in Amizmiz, Marrakech Safi region. It was created in 2011 by 24 local women. They were awarded a prize from the International Agricultural Exhibition in Meknes in 2020 by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Moulay Al Hassan. Their main activities include production, crushing, marketing of olive oil, and manufacturing natural olive oil soaps. The DPA built for them the olive oil processing unit to make olive oil soap as a way of driving profit from olive waste, which is a major actor in economic, social, and human development in Amghras Village. Women are organized into multiple groups, each responsible for a specific task. Therefore, they seek expertise in the techniques used so they can improve the solid/liquid soap quality and quantity.
Then, the F2F team met with the members of Tigudelt cooperative, which is not far from the other. This cooperative is first and foremost a group of people with the same passion, in a region teeming with riches and well-preserved traditions and skills that have been handed down from generation to generation. The co-op was created in 2016 and it is located in Tigudelt Village in the Amizmiz municipality, Marrakech/Safi region. The co-op works in an olive canning unit that was built by DPA.
Tigudelt Co-op is based on solidarity and fair trade. It gives farmers in the region the chance to make a living from their work and to share their skills. With almost 20 members (10 women – 10 men), the Tigudelt cooperative receives olives from members’ land (30 ha) certifying their olives as 100% local. As a cooperative, Tigudelt is committed to a precise quality charter, as they had the ONSSA certification four months ago.
They try to make high-quality products, develop an investment policy to make Tigudelt an efficient cooperative and a working tool that is adapted to today’s food-production standards, conduct environmentally-friendly farming, and ensure the expansion and sustainability of olive-growing in Amizmiz.The members are following a clearly-defined process, but they still lack precision on the conditioning brine of olives. This visit allowed the F2F team to understand the cooperatives’ vision, and we will develop a scope of work for these assignments and go back to the field with an expert volunteer who can provide more assistance.