The Argan (Argania Espinosa) is a tree native to Morocco which is the second country's forest reserves, which can live up to 200 years.
They call it "the giver of life in Morocco", the only place where it grows. The Argan tree planting extends approximately 750,000 hectares, in the triangle formed by Essaouira, Agadir and Taroudant. This tree of the Sapotaceae family, is particularly resistant to dry and arid conditions of this area. You can actually tolerate temperatures ranging from 3-50 ° C, and complies with a very low level of rainfall. Little known elsewhere - not even in the rest of the country in North Africa - the argan survives fighting desertification and provide valuable products and work for the Berbers, the indigenous people of the area.
Survivor of the Tertiary, its resistance to heat and dryness, allowed him to adapt to the poorer soils. The Argan grows wild and abundantly in the arid and semi-arid South-west of Morocco, which represents an irreplaceable part in the ecological balance and safeguarding biodiversity. Twisted and prickly, sends its roots deep into the earth in search of water, connecting the ground contributing to the maintenance of the land and fight erosiín allows water and wind threatening desertification of much of the area.
Its fruit green-looking like a giant olive tastes sweet but unpalatable. Still, it contains a treasure: a tough nut with small oil-rich seeds. The oil is very nutritious, and - even more important thing-rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Long locally used as medicinal and cosmetic element has also been used as dips bread and salad dressings. (Now it is a cosmetic ingredient and scientifically proven effective therapy, already used in Europe and North America).
The goats help harvest the seeds, prohibit entering the forest until the berries are ripe, at the right time, facing spines and climb trees, eating the flesh of the fruit unpalatable. Nuts ruled by goats then break hand between two stones - a painstaking process - to extract the oil fine.
The walnut shells are burned as fuel. The argan wood - known as "Moroccan ironwood" - is highly valued, and used for marquetry inlaid boxes. Nothing is wasted. Several women´s cooperatives have begun to harvest the oil for export, providing much-needed jobs.