By Houria Chouhab, HAF-F2F Volunteer Technical and Field Assistant
The F2F local volunteer conducting training for AJIAL co-op and other farmers. Photo credit: Houria Chouhab/HAF
On July 18, the High Atlas Foundation’s (HAF’s) USAID Program Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) team drove all the way from Marrakech to the Oriental Region, accompanied by the F2F local volunteer, Najoua Abdi-Sallam, in order to conduct a workshop for the benefit of AJIAL Cooperative in Bni Guil Commune (Figuig Province).
AJIAL Co-op raises domestic animals (sheep and goats), which are known in Morocco for their good quality, and the training conducted for them was about how to manage the organizational operations within this cooperative. The F2F team was warmly welcomed by the cooperative’s members, who served a delicious meal as a way of demonstrating their gratitude for this training.
Both groups discussed the different axes of the training and how it will help to deal with internal and external issues encountered during daily activities of the cooperative. The HAF team was informed that other co-op members and farmers would like to benefit from such training, and the idea of spreading knowledge to more people was well received by the team.
The next day, AJIAL Co-op’s members and the other guests joined the workshop and participated with eagerness to learn new things and proceed with their own cooperatives. What caught the team’s attention was the beneficiaries’ punctuality and serious engagement, two qualities that are highly appreciated in cooperatives.
The F2F team and the workshop’s attendees. Photo credit: The F2F local Volunteer/ HAF
The training was an eye-opening experience for the participants, as they were not aware of most of the basic concepts they should know. For most traditionally created cooperatives, what matters most to the members is benefiting from the government’s or other donors’ funds, but they now realize that there are certain steps to follow in order to get to this and other goals. For this reason, the F2F local volunteer explained that they should first work on their business plan and try to meet the government’s standards.
Towards the end of the training, there were some exercises that reinforced what had been learned during this period.
AJIAL Cooperative members and local Bni Guil farmers after training. Photo credit: Lahcen Ait Ouatouch/HAF