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ANNOUNCING A DIVERSE PARTNERSHIP

Announcing a New Partnership

JULY 2012

Following its successful, ongoing partnership with the High Commission of Waters and Forests, who lend land to HAF for community tree nurseries, HAF and the (Moroccan) Jewish Community of Marrakech* have signed a similar agreement to launch a pilot Tree Nursery project . [*In Morocco, a “Jewish Community” is a legal entity, much like a Commune, and it has a president.]

The project premise is:

The Jewish Community of Marrakech will lend HAF arable land adjoining some of their religious rural sites for 5 years so that HAF and local village partners can build a tree nursery there, training representatives of the neighboring communities in fruit tree arboriculture as they build and maintain the nursery. At the end of the 2nd and 5th years, young trees will be distributed to the families in the local villages, and the newly-trained cultivators will pass along their knowledge to the other villagers.

The provision of land for community nurseries is a vital input in the process of family farms advancing their agricultural development, and this combined Moroccan Muslim and Jewish community project is a reminder of Morocco’s diverse and united history.

As part of HAF’s 1 Million Tree Campaign, this first nursery will include 80,000 almond, olive, and pomegranate seeds and saplings.  These trees grow organically, and approximately 500 families will on average double their incomes when the trees mature after six years.  As this project develops, HAF continues to work with the communities to identify and implement other new projects that meet their vital needs and priorities, such as projects in irrigation and clean drinking water, and women and youth initiatives.

The partnership agreement was signed by Mr. Jacky Kadoch, President of the Jewish Community of Marrakech-Essaouira, Mr. Jerry Hirsch, on behalf of the financial partner the Lodestar Foundation (USA), HAF President Yossef Ben-Meir, and H.E. André Azoulay, Advisor to His Majesty the King, whose support honors the project.  Wahiba (Estergard) Benloughmari and husband Michael Gilliland are also vital financial contributors.

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