Permaculture leaves a village in Morocco out of misery

About 50 km from Rabat, the small village of Brachoua lived for many years without running water or electricity. The precarious situation of the 60 families that make up this village, made even more difficult by the lack of economic resources, pushed its inhabitants to regroup within the modern Farmer Association and to look for solutions that work.

Assisted by the Association Ibn Albaytar (AIA), they embark on the adventure at the end of 2013. “During our first contact with the members of the NGO Modern Farmer, we showed them an organic farm near Rabat. The idea inspired them and they offered to duplicate the same patterns at home, “says Mohamed Chefchaouni, Ibn Albaytar Association (AIA).

This incredible and sudden change is told to us by Le Soir, a major newspaper in Belgium.

Source Permaculture leaves a village in Morocco out of misery: Association Ibn Albaytar

Assisted by the Association Ibn Albaytar (AIA), they embark on the adventure at the end of 2013. “During our first contact with the members of the NGO Modern Farmer, we showed them an organic farm near Rabat. The idea inspired them and they offered to duplicate the same patterns at home , says Mohamed Chefchaouni, of the Association.

Source : Workaway

Supported by a neighboring association (Ibn Albaytar Association), villagers are invited to visit an organic farm. And here is the revelation. By mutual agreement, all decide to learn the techniques of permaculture and sustainable development to duplicate at home.

The initial goal was to quickly achieve food self-sufficiency. It was already ambitious, but the result will go well beyond their expectations!

Source Permaculture takes a village out of poverty in Morocco: Workaway

Very quickly, vegetable gardens start to bloom in the four corners of the village, a little like the Incredible Edibles (which have also sent some of their members in support).

From 2013 to 2015, the number of vegetable gardens has increased from 1 to 40! Enough to provide enough food for all families!

But the adventure does not stop there. Noting that their production was very appreciated by the people of passage, these new followers of the permaculture decided to propose the fruit of their work to the inhabitants of the neighboring city …

Without going through the souk, they have constituted an urban clientele to whom they distribute every week baskets 100% made of their products (chicken, eggs, couscous, vegetables …)

Their baskets are so requested that villagers can even afford to sell more than at the souk (example: their chicken costs about € 7.50 against € 5.50 at the souk).

Source Permaculture takes a village out of poverty in Morocco: Workaway

The villagers, like real managers, visit the organic farm, try to identify and understand the techniques and decide to develop permaculture to ensure their food self-sufficiency. At the same time, this activity provided the village with an additional economic resource in the face of a growing demand for organic products generating significant revenues. With the help of a few members of the “Incredible Edibles” (1), the work begins with the introduction to the vegetable garden for the benefit of the villagers and students of a school in the region. This operation introduced the first notions of sustainable development in the community of Brachoua. From 2013 to 2015, the number of gardens increased from 1 to 40.

Source : Workaway

As a result, a family who, just three years ago, lived with three times nothing, can now hope to earn 60 euros in one day! What to live without the eternal care of tomorrow.

Source : Workaway

Through meetings, exhibitions and visits to the village of members of the association accompanied by their families, a new economic activity was born. Indeed, the beauty of the village, surrounded by a forest and streams, gave the idea to establish a tourist circuit for hiking and trekking. The meeting with the inhabitant, the consumption of local products and the rural tourism will thus be the master cards. Today, the village receives up to 250 people per weekend, hikers and educational outings for school children. This allows a family to earn up to 600 dirhams (about 60 euros) in one day.

Source : Workaway

The experience of the village of Brachoua is interesting in more than one way. First, it was conceived, designed and carried out by the initiative of the villagers, driven by their desire to change their precarious situation and improve their living conditions. This state of mind is undeniably the key to the success of the project. The interest of the experiment is also due to the fact that it was realized taking into account the existing potential of the village, without external financial contribution. Apart from 3,000 dirhams (about 250 euros) needed to start the gardening equipment and seedlings, no other external funding has been provided. Today, the village has electricity, three water fountains and has become a known rural tourism destination in the region. The 60 families are self-reliant, can rely on their own resources, and are aware of the importance of preserving their environment, an important source of income.

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