Rabat – The United Nations and Morocco will celebrate the International Day of Argania on Wednesday May 10, with the UN headquarters in New York hosting an official celebration.
The celebration will be held under the theme “Local socio-economic development and sustainability of the argan ecosystem,” and aims to highlight the argan tree’s role in community development and sustainability.
A statement from the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture also describes the tree as an “ancestral source of sustainable development.”
A UN General Assembly declared May 10 the international day of the tree in March of 2021, and it has been celebrated every year since.
Argan oil has grown over the years into a billion-dollar industry, as it is a prominent ingredient in cosmetic, haircare, and skincare products, in addition to its culinary applications.
The cooperatives that produce the oil and other derivative products have historically employed mostly women from rural areas who have been trained over generations on how to extract the oil.
Despite this, many companies that use argan oil have come under criticism for what some see as exploitative practices that have put the cooperatives and the women that work in them at a disadvantage.
In response, several national and international interest groups have campaigned to help the women workers preserve their jobs and improve their conditions.
Argan trees hold a special place in Morocco and Moroccan culture, as the country is the world’s main exporter of Argan-related products.
It is also vital to the economy of many Moroccan regions, with Argan products making up over 90% of the economy of the Souss-Massa region. Morocco’s annual Argan oil production is estimated to range from 4,000 to 6,000 tons.
UNESCO added the Argan tree to the Representative List of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014.
Source : MoroccoWorldNews