Argan oil production in Morocco
Argan oil production in Morocco is a valuable commodity in Morocco that is produced from the nuts of the argan tree, which is endemic to the southwestern part of the country. The oil is extracted by crushing the nuts and then pressing them to release the oil.
Argan oil has been used for centuries by the Berber people of Morocco for its culinary and cosmetic properties. It is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and fatty acids, making it beneficial for skin, hair, and nails.
The production of argan oil is typically done by women’s cooperatives, which provide employment opportunities and economic empowerment to women in rural areas. The traditional production process is time-consuming and labor-intensive, with the nuts being cracked by hand before the oil is extracted.
Due to its rarity and high demand, argan oil is quite expensive and is considered a luxury item in many parts of the world. It is used in various products such as cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos, as well as for culinary purposes.
Morocco has taken steps to protect the argan tree and the production of argan oil. In 1998, the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve was established by UNESCO to help preserve the argan forest and the traditional methods of producing argan oil. This has helped to promote sustainable development in the region and protect the livelihoods of local communities.