In this southern region of Morocco, at the border of the Sahara, the most cultivated fruit is the watermelon. This fruit is ideal for local farmers, as it does not need much care, nor material to grow. What it does need, however, is water, and this resource is becoming increasingly scarce in this region.
During talks with the Boutyouss locals we got to learn about their agriculture and got to discuss the solution to the water consumption: palm trees.
Why palm trees ?
There are different varieties of palm trees in Morocco and some of them produce dates, which are highly valued fruits all over the world. Palm trees do not need much water to grow and are able to flourish in arid climates, like the desert. They might replace the watermelon culture and enable farmers to sell their dates. On the long term, this could solve part of the water problem.
This project is to be seen on the long term, as palm trees only start producing fruit after some years, buying these trees is also relatively expensive.
In the last few years, we have been able to help the local population to acquire a hundred palm trees, which will allow them to harvest dates and sell them in a few years.