Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Moroccan argan oil faces cloudy future

It seems that every few months an intrepid reporter heads to Morocco and gives his or her take on things Moroccan. Inevitably they always include a story about argan oil. There is little new in most of them, but at least they continue to raise the issue of the declining numbers of trees.

The latest offering in this department is that of feature writer Charles Dick. However his stories have a much better feel to them and reading through his collected posts for Reuters, he appears to be something of a middle east expert and has obviously done more than fly into Rabat and post a quick story or two. His Moroccan posts are all substantial pieces and also worth a quick google.

Here is his take on argan oil and the forests that produce it. Links to the full story and our previous posts are given below.

Now it is under threat, with more than a third of Morocco's argan forest having vanished in less than a century. It is used by villagers for firewood and stripped of its foliage and fruit by foraging animals.

To try to protect it, the U.N. agency UNESCO has created a 2.5-million-hectare Biosphere Reserve, implementing a programme to replant argan trees which are notoriously difficult to regenerate. Researchers need a breakthrough in achieving easy germination from seed and large-scale transplanting from cuttings.

Link: Moroccan argan oil faces cloudy future

Link: THE VIEW FROM FES: Argan Oil


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