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An Unexpected Evolution of a Farmer-to-Farmer Training

F2 F98
byHigh Atlas Foundation
onMarch 7, 2023

I joined the High Atlas Foundation´s (HAF) Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) team in December 2021, and my first field experience was a visit to the Ahl Rhoufrane Cooperative in the Bouchane municipality, in the Rhmana Province with my colleague Ibtissam Niri. On our way there, my colleague explained that the members of this cooperative benefited from a paired assignment by both the local Volunteer Zineb Elgasmi and the US Volunteer Theodor Maghrak in July 2021. The goal of the training was to help the group establish an agricultural cooperative, further team building, provide capacity building in tree project management, and conduct a technical assessment of additional needs of their land.

As they have a lot of knowledge about keeping goats, the local people decided to create a cooperative for goat products. However, little did the president of the Rhoufran cooperative, Yassine Rhoufran, know that he would be the reason for the establishment of 15 more cooperatives in the province. Yassine explained that the training was quite informative and he acquired a lot of knowledge about establishing cooperatives. "It was not that hard to get all the papers done and submit them to the authorities. I encouraged my friends to create agricultural and artisanal cooperatives for the benefit of the community, and I found myself delivering workshops on how to create a cooperative and the necessary papers that had to be submitted to the authorities," said Yassine.

The seven members of the Rhoufran cooperative recently received a tractor and a grant of $1000 from the government through a national program. When asked about his future plans, Yassin explained that he wants to invest the money to raise a specific type of goat. These goats produce a special oily substance that can be used as medicine and a cosmetic. On top of that, the cooperative will produce a large variety of dairy products such as low-fat or flavored milk, lben (fermented milk), yogurt, and cheese.

Yassine seemed very proud of his achievements in the area, especially in conducting training sessions for young people in his province and encouraging them to create positive change in their communities. Seeing this unexpected development and big impact of the F2F project in the region was incredible and showed the potential that these projects have for transforming the lives of many people.