04/12/2018 - Anne-Lise de Reforest'Action
At the end of November, we went to Brachoua, Morocco, to visit the trees we planted. Come with us to discover the extraordinary story of a small village that has become a pioneer in sustainable agriculture.
At the origin of the project, the inhabitants of the village and the Ibn Al Baytar association
Brachoua is first and foremost a beautiful story.
In 2013, the 60 families in the village of Brachoua were living without water or electricity, in a state of extreme poverty. The Moroccan association Ibn Al Baytar, specialized in the protection of argan trees, then decided to help this small village by training its inhabitants in permaculture.
The initiative comes first from Larbi Chaoubi, an inhabitant of the village, who sends Mohamed Chafchaouni and Zoubida Charrouf, from the Ibn Al Baytar association, a real call for help. In Larbi, they found a leader who would do anything to get his village out of poverty. Larbi's brother, Mohamed Chaoubi, then began taking intensive courses to train in permaculture. This science aims to design and sustain human cultures, places of life and agricultural systems by reproducing the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.
Zoubida Charrouf, President of the Ibn Al Baytar Association
Mohamed and Larbi Chaoubi, the two brothers behind the development of permaculture in Brachoua
Forty vegetable gardens designed in permaculture
Back in Brachoua, Mohamed introduced his neighbours to permaculture. About forty vegetable gardens were then created in the village. A few square meters are enough for the villagers to grow fruits, vegetables and aromatic herbs. Thanks to funding from the United Nations Environment Programme, the gardens are equipped with drip irrigation and photovoltaic energy. Crops can thus be fed by rainwater and water from wells dug by the inhabitants.
Thanks to Reforest'Action, fruit trees planted in agroforestry
In 2017, Reforest'Action joined the adventure to allow residents to plant fruit trees around their vegetable garden. Apple trees, pomegranates, lemon trees, olive trees, orange trees... More than 4500 trees of many species have been planted to date by Reforest'Action thanks to the financing of our partner ENGIE and individuals. Purchased from nurseries in Rabat or produced within the village nursery, the planted trees are already starting to bear fruit.
Thibaud visits the nursery with Mohamed
Mohamed presents the different species planted thanks to Reforest'Action in Fanny
The first fruits of the trees planted by Reforest'Action
Fanny, Mohamed and Anne-Lise for a little "photo souvenir"!
Thanks to the project, Brachoua has achieved food self-sufficiency
The village is now self-sufficient in food. The products from the vegetable gardens and trees are consumed by the villagers, and the surplus is sold at the markets in Rabat.
Brachoua's influence has enabled Ibn Al Baytar to install a drinking water fountain at the entrance to the village, as well as electricity in the homes. A bus has also been set up, which now takes village children to school every morning: a great victory for Zoubida, who makes the fight against illiteracy a priority.
Bachir, Larbi's third child, will also go to school
Today, Zoubida remains close to Brachoua and its inhabitants. She frequently brings Mohamed with her when she goes to teach agroecology in Marrakech or Agadir.
Ecotourism is developing more and more. In order to structure this activity and allow the sale of local agricultural products to tourists, Larbi Chaoubi has founded a cooperative that he chairs today. A real source of additional income for the village's inhabitants, tourism allows the village to make itself known internationally.
A pioneer in sustainable agriculture, Brachoua is a model for the whole world.
You too, take part in the project by planting fruit trees in Morocco!