The argan tree has been a versatile part of Berber village life and its economy for a long time :
• Its strong wood (it is also called the Moroccan “Ironwood” tree) is used for construction or fuel.
• Its leaves are used to feed goats.
• Its seeds are used in argan oil production.
• Its deep roots mean that it is an excellent barrier against the spread of the desert.
• It provides shade for the fauna and flora that balance the region’s ecosystem.
• Thousands of people earn their living from its cultivation, whether directly or indirectly.
This 80-million-year-old tree species is nonetheless threatened, and each year around 600 hectares of argan trees disappear. In spite of its resistance to drought (it can survive dormant with negligible water for a dozen years), the density of trees in the argan forest in Morocco was reduced by two thirds in a short space of fifty years.