The women’s cooperative Ajddigue
Since generations, the Berber women extract precious oil from the miraculous Argan tree. In hours of handwork they collect the fruit, crack its nuts and extract the oil from the Kernel inside.
Traditionally, Women were not allowed to work outside of their homes and were dependant on the income of their husband. In 1996 the first women´s cooperatives of argan oil production developed. The Argan sector soon became of high national and international interest, not only for the unique and valuable product but also due to its socio- economic importance. The rise of the women´s cooperatives is seen as an opportunity and example for emancipation, independency and development of the rural women.
One year later, in 1997, a group of 17 women in the village Tidzi decided to create their own business and founded the first pioneer cooperatives in the area of Essaouira. With the support of national and international organizations the women´s cooperative Ajddigue was established.
Ajddigue in Amazigh (Berber language) is the word for flower. The women, who are members, produce, package and sell Argan oil together. Since its creation, Ajddigue has benefited more than 100 women.
• Enhancing the traditional knowledge of women
• Improving the living conditions of the rural women
• Valorization of Argan oil
• Integration of the rural women in the local development of her community
This cooperative was made possible by the support from the Canadian Embassy, the Japanese Embassy, the Ottawa international development research Centre and Oxfam-Québec. The implementation was led by the faculty of sciences in rabat (GERPE)