13 April 2021
Study of the social impacts of a date palm plantation in Morocco

For several years now, Kinomé has been carrying out the social impact assessment of the projects of the 12Tree investment fund. Usually located in Latin America, this year Kinomé has carried out this exercise for the first time on a project in Morocco.

 

Still in the installation and planting phase, it will become the largest date palm plantation in the world (600 hectares).

Les jeunes palmiers récemment plantés et leur système d’irrigation en goutte à goutte (©Bettina Mathorel - Kinomé)

The young palm trees recently planted and their drip irrigation system (©Bettina Mathorel – Kinomé)

Two members of the Kinomé team went to the site, on the border between the regions of Drâa-Tafilalet and Oriental in the South-East of the country, to visit the project and its surroundings to analyse the social and environmental issues related to it. Kinomé’s approach, based on a global vision, allows us to achieve two things during the fieldwork

 

  1. A better understanding of the local context, both within the project and for the surrounding communities and ecosystems
  2.  An analysis of the 7 fundamental and universal needs of the population, i.e., the employees of the project as well as the local communities.

The 7 fundamental and universal needs of human beings (©Edel Gött)

 

The observations, meetings and exchanges carried out during this visit allow the real needs of the populations impacted by the project to emerge. Once the main issues of the local context and the project have been identified and linked, Kinomé can then propose recommendations for improvement to the project teams to develop a progress plan to improve their social impact.

 

Meeting of the farm workers in focus groups of about ten people (©Bettina Mathorel – Kinomé)

 

During this visit, Kinomé was able to understand the importance of the date palm in the local oasis culture, the efforts undertaken by the Moroccan government to allow the development of this particularly poor region of the country, and the important economic potential of the region: as evidenced by the numerous plantation projects set up in the area.

 

The team will return to the project in two years to carry out the same exercise and see how the project’s impact on the people and their needs is evolving.

The Oasis of Beni Yatti, which is trying to continue the oasis tradition despite the progressive abandonment of the oasis by a large part of its population. This is because the oasis is enclosed (the road to the oasis only arrived in 2012), the Bayoud disease which is ravaging the date palm, and the violence of the floods which continue to degrade the oasis. (©Bettina Mathorel – Kinomé)