The Argan tree can live for as many as 200 years, and is known for its nutritional, medicinal and cosmetic properties.
In Morocco, the tree grows mainly between Essaouira and Agadir, in the southwestern part the country. It is a member of the Sapotacées family, and is particularly at home in dry and arid conditions.
Because of its properties, the tree has become a much sought after commodity, and the oil that is extracted from its seeds is known as “liquid gold.”
There are about 21 million argan trees in Morocco, and the price of the oil produced from their seeds is about 10 times that of olive oil. However, production in Morocco is in its infancy, and has room for a lot of growth.
Khadija Benaiss, the chairperson of Amanar co-operative said, "The argan oil sector employs a substantial number of women, who provide for many families that benefit economically and socially from this activity. I would like to take this opportunity to launch an appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture, the argan agency and the High Commission for Water, Forests and Decertification Control to give more attention to this sector, because it needs it."
Argan oil is slightly darker than olive oil. It can be used for cooking and is claimed to have various medicinal properties, such as lowering cholesterol levels.
Nadia Raham, a Local business woman said, "Argan is known from old times, but in recent years it has become more widely used as a cosmetic product, to the point where I managed in my own co-operative to create a natural mask made of argan oil and other natural products, which I will not reveal. What distinguishes this oil from others is that it's 100 percent natural, and also it does not have any side effects on health,"
In 1998, UNESCO classified the Moroccan argan tree as one of the world’s unique biospheres.
Nadia Raham, a Local business woman
Khadija Benaiss, the chairperson of Amanar co-operative
Noora Al Faraj