The women’s cooperative Ajddigue
For generations, Berber women have extracted precious oil from the miraculous argan tree. Hours of manual work are necessary to collect the fruit, crack its nuts and extract the oil from the kernel inside.
Traditionally, women were not allowed to work outside their homes and were dependent on their husband’s income. 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 women´s cooperatives is seen as an opportunity and example for emancipation, independence and development of rural women.
One year later, in 1997, a group of 17 women in the village of Tidzi decided to start 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 rural women
- Promotion of argan oil
- Integration of rural women in the local development of their community
When you travel in Morocco, you may want to learn more about argan oil production. You are welcome to visit us!
The cooperative is in the rural village of Tidzi, 25 km of Essaouira on the road to Agadir (on Thursdays there is a nice traditional market in the village).
To find the cooperative, follow the sign we put up in the street. Go through a large space after a row of shops and at the end of the path you will see the cooperative behind some argan trees!
This cooperative was made possible by the support of the Canadian Embassy, the Japanese Embassy, Ottawa International Development Research Centre and Oxfam-Québec.
The implementation was led by the faculty of sciences of rabat (GERPE)