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Household and local forest impacts of Morocco's argan oil bonanza




Morocco's argan oil is now the most expensive edible oil in the world. Growing high-value argan markets have sparked a bonanza of argan activity. NGOs, international and domestic development agencies, and argan oil cooperatives have promoted the win–win aim of simultaneously benefiting locals and the argan forest. We test this win–win claim by surveying households before and after rapid appreciation in argan prices. The argan boom has benefited some rural households. Those well positioned to benefit increased their goat herds more than other households, which bodes poorly for forest impacts, and were more likely to send their girls to secondary school. While locals are keeping their goats out of argan trees during the harvest, they may also be resorting to more aggressive harvesting techniques. The boom has made households vigilant guardians of fruit on their own trees, but has not incited investments in longer term tree and forest health.

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  • Lybbert, Travis J. & Magnan, Nicholas & Aboudrare, Abdellah, 2010. "Household and local forest impacts of Morocco's argan oil bonanza," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(4), pages 439-464, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:15:y:2010:i:04:p:439-464_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Sinsin Tudal E.M. & Aboudi Ahmed El & Mounir Fouad, 2020. "Conservation, valuation and sustainable development issues of the Argan Tree Biosphere Reserve in Morocco," Environmental & Socio-economic Studies, Sciendo, vol. 8(1), pages 28-35, March.
    2. Emily Reisman, 2020. "Superfood as spatial fix: the ascent of the almond," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 37(2), pages 337-351, June.

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