Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system within the area of Ait Souab - Ait Mansour

GIAHS since 2018

Did you know?

The argan tree forest constitutes a vital fodder reserve for all herds even in periods of drought. All parts of the argan tree are edible and very appreciated: leaves, fruits and the undergrowth are a meal of choice especially for the most daring goats that do not hesitate to climb the branches.
Photo credits: CC/ Creative Commons

Did you know?

The argan tree, Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels is the only representative of the Argania genus, and only grows in Morocco. This unique tree withstands temperatures of up to 50°C and plays an irreplaceable role in the ecological balance of the region providing forest products, fruits and fodder.
Photo courtesy of GIAHS Argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system within the area of Ait Souab - Ait Mansour

Did you know?

The fruit of the argan tree is a green to light yellow berry in the centre of which is an almond made up of several seeds gorged with oil. It takes about 150 kg of fruit to produce 3 litres of argan oil.
?FAO

Did you know?

The fruits are hand-picked and dried in the sun. The fruit is pulped, its nuts crushed, and its almonds crushed to filter the oil. Women lead the entire extraction process through knowledge transmitted from one generation to the next.
Photo courtesy of Slow Food/ ?Oliver Migliore

Did you know?

Argan oil is used as edible oil or cosmetic oil. Its nutty taste, its ability to prevent cardiovascular diseases and its benefits for the skin are scientifically recognized.
Photo courtesy of Slow Food/ ?Oliver Migliore

Did you know?

Argan oil occupies an important place in the Berber culinary culture of the Anti-Atlas Mountains. For the most gourmet, you can try to prepare yourself the Amlou dessert that is traditionally offered to guests by mixing 50 g of crushed almonds, 50 g of honey and half a litre of roasted argan oil.
Photo courtesy of Slow Food/ ?Oliver Migliore

Did you know?

Symbol of eternity and resistance, the argan tree has a strong symbolic and emotional value for the local population, especially among the Berbers. To protect themselves from many diseases, families hang amulets on the branches of the sacred argan trees.
Photo courtesy of GIAHS Argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system within the area of Ait Souab - Ait Mansour

Did you know?

In 2002, argan oil was recognized as a Presidium by the SlowFood Foundation to highlight the unique knowledge associated with the traditional production of oil by Berber women.
Photo courtesy of Slow Food/ ?Oliver Migliore

Did you know?

UNESCO has inscribed the Argan, practices and know-how related to the argan tree to the Intangible World Heritage list and designated the endemic production area as a Biosphere Reserve.
Photo courtesy of GIAHS Argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system within the area of Ait Souab - Ait Mansour

The agro-forestry-pastoral system in Ait Souab-Ait Mansour is a unique region where argan trees have been cultivated for centuries. This system is based on agroforestry practices in dry stone terraces being highly resilient to arid environment, water scarcity and poor soils.  It uses only locally adapted species and pastoralism activities and relies on a traditional water management provided by the Matifiya - a rain water reservoir carved into rock.

The Amazigh indigenous communities as well as communities of Arab origin have developed a specific culture and identity sharing their traditional knowledge and skills. Although farmers earn the majority of their income from the cultivation of argan trees, the integrated system also provides them with other food and material such as staple crops, cereals, fire wood, meat and wool.

News

Photo courtesy of GIAHS Argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system within the area of Ait Souab-Ait Mansour

FAO welcomes the International UN International Day of Argania

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) Programme welcomes the UN General Assembly's resolution adopting May 10th as the International Day of Argania. The UN resolution, submitted by Morocco, was co-sponsored by 113 member states of the United Nations and adopted by consensus.

Photo Courtesy of Slow Food- Argan Oil Presidium project ?Oliver Migliore

UN International Day of Argania 10 May

In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 10 May the International Day of Argania. The resolution, submitted by Morocco, was co-sponsored by 113 member states of the United Nations and adopted by consensus.

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems: an opportunity to restore ecosystems and achieve the SDGs

GIAHS site representatives from China, Japan, Peru, Morocco, Spain and Tanzania shared their experiences and challenges on the sustainable use of natural resources as well as the types and functions of their ecosystem services. They explored how GIAHS can contribute to the objectives of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

UNESCO designations

Photo credit must be given. Photo courtesy of GIAHS Argan-based agro-sylvo-pastoral system within the area of Ait Souab-Ait and Mansour

Argan, practices and know-how concerning the argan tree listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The argan tree is an endemic woodland species found in the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve in south-west Morocco. Rural women and, to a lesser extent, men living in the reserve practise traditional methods to extract argan oil from the fruit of the tree. Different tasks, transmitted by means of imitation and through non-formal education, are required to obtain the oil, which has multiple uses for cooking, medicines and cosmetics. These include harvesting the fruit, drying, pulping, grinding, sorting, milling and mixing. The specific hand mill is manufactured by local craftspeople, and the mixing involves the gradual addition of warm water in exact quantities. Read more