Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

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

Summary

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.