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Argan oil and its derivatives are given top priority: the Festival is an opportunity to highlight their economic and social value and to define the role argan can play in human development.
Argan, a specifically Moroccan species, has the place of honour in the first edition of the Haha Festival which took place in Tamanar (province of Essaouira) with the theme “The argan tree: culture-development-environment”.
Organized between the 7th and the 10th of November last by the Festival Argan-Haha-Tamanar Association for culture and development, in partnership with Essaouira Regional Council and Tamanar Urban Community, this Festival aimed to make of Haha region a cultural, touristic and economic high spot and to federate local, regional and national good wills in order to promote this region.
Another aim was also to encourage the setting up of various projects that would generate an income in order to contribute, along with other regions in Essaouira province, to human development.
“Argan is a very rich product and through this Festival, we intend to use it as a factor of the economic and social development of the region” Chaina Ahmed, a member of the organizing committee declared to the press.
A very rich programme was set up for this occasion and it will focus on the cultural, socio-economic, educational and artistic aspects, he said. So in the list we find some seminars on various subjects like the elements of our national identity or the role of the argan tree in the local economic development, poetical evenings and a trade fair dedicated to local products and to craftwork.
Some mornings for children are planned as well as competitions, cultural and artistic contests, medical campaigns for the benefit of the population, evenings led by folk dancing groups and by Moroccan star singers, like Fatima Tihihit or the group Tagadda, Tbourida shows and a tribute will be paid to cultural and artistic personalities.
This Festival is also an opportunity to put forward the economic and social value of argan and to define the role this product can play in human development.
According to the Agricultural Administration of the province (Essaouira-DPA) the argan tree forest stretches over an area of 136.430 ha in the region of Essaouira, i.e. 20% of the total national area. 88% of this area is in the Haha region (south of Essaouira) and the rest can be found in the Chiadma (in the North).
The province annual production is made of 70.000 tons of argan fruit and of 2.000 tons of oil.
This industry has a turnover of over 50 MDH annually. There are now over 50 co-ops in the province approved by the responsible Minister whereas about twenty more are being studied from a technical point of view. According to the same source, nearly 2.000 women have joined co-ops at the province level; one has to know that this industry provides some 200.000 workdays in a year.