European project RARGA PROD 2 Argan tree Morocco Sustainable management of agro-ecosystems Product quality Argan oil Cooperatives Technology transfer Agro-forestry


Michel Salas
Tel : +33 (0)4 67 04 75 31


Research & Development on argan tree and its by-products in Morocco
(project MEDA ADS 2005-2007)

Within the framework of the European program MEDA ‘Projet Arganier’, a part was dedicated to studies on the argan plantation, the argan tree and its various by-products with a view to sustainable development (RARGA PROD 2 project). Agropolis International acted as the chief project and the project manager on behalf of the scientific institutions involved, the Moroccan local administrator being the Agency of Social Development (ADS).


The Research part of this European program was based on 2 main lines:


Technology transfer related to argan fruit, argan oil, quality and diversification

The actions set up allowed to achieve the technology transfer related to various products (argan oil and by-products from the argan fruit) thanks to an original approach dealing both with the attributes and the determining factors of the product quality:

  • study of factors interfering with quality
  • improvement of processes
  • setting up of means for fraud control
  • development of new applications for the argan products

The impact of the “local land effect” was also studied. Target public were argan oil producers and especially local cooperatives run by women in South-West Morocco strongly involved in this sector.

The scientific institutes involved were: Mohamed V University in Rabat, Cirad (UMR GPEB), Inra (UMR ‘Sciences pour l’oenologie’ and UR ‘Phytopharmacie et médiateurs chimiques‘), Moroccan cooperatives and traditional producers (more particularly women) and local authorities.



Renovation of the agroforestry system
The general objective was to develop models for the sustainable management of agro-ecosystems based on argan trees and to renovate the damaged argan plantations by introducing innovative and low cost techniques while taking into account the local know-how.

Specific objectives:

  • Improvement of artificial regenerative techniques and development of new regenerative protocols based on modern biotechnologies;
  • Improvement of various techniques both in nurseries and in fields for vegetative propagation and breeding of young argan trees
  • Design of new inoculation techniques by local mycorhizian mushrooms to improve plant growth
  • Design of sustainable techniques for the management of the argan plantation based on the management of natural populations of ground mycorhizian mushrooms


Design of innovative and sustainable forestry eco-systems

The objectives of the project were to develop models for the sustainable management of agro-ecosystems based on argan trees and to renovate the damaged argan plantations by introducing sustainable management techniques, improving the income derived from the argan tree plantations, carrying out the promotion of local products and introduction of new production concepts and protecting agro-biodiversity in the Biosphere Reserve of the argan plantation.

Specific objectives were:

  • Improvement of techniques for the breeding of young argan trees in fields based on modern biotechnologies and new inoculation techniques by local mycorhizian Mushrooms

  • Study on the interaction between argan tree and annual crops like cereals, vegetables and fooder

  • Introduction of new crops in arid areas with high gain

  • Introduction of new agricultural techniques for the sylvan and pastoral management of the argan plantation.

Partners :
The IAV in Agadir (Agronomy and Veterinary Institute), Cirad (Forest department, UMR ‘Laboratoire des symbioses tropicales et méditerranéennes’), forestry administration in Morocco, local cooperatives.



Update on 20/03/12

Michel Salas
Tel : +33 (0)4 67 04 75 31

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