NEF Launches Innovative Community-Based Watershed Management and Agriculture Project in Morocco

 Syracuse, NY (April 11, 2011). The Near East Foundation has begun a project to help rural communities improve their irrigation systems and develop more sustainable agriculture in the Oriental region of Morocco, one of the poorest and most water-stressed areas of the country.

The goals of the project are to help farmers produce more sustainable crops while reducing water waste and adapting to climate change. As farmers become more efficient and improve their productivity, the project will ultimately help alleviate poverty, increase stability of and access to food sources, and promote financial security for farmers.

Over the course of the two-and-a-half year project, NEF will work with 25 communities and train an estimated 2,500 farmers in innovative techniques that combine traditional farming practices indigenous to the Oriental region with modern technology and management techniques. New crops will be introduced that are more drought-resistant and connect farmers with what’s in demand at agricultural markets.

Investments in agriculture and training in watershed management to use irrigation more efficiently will promote economic development in communities throughout the Oriental region. If successful, this innovative approach may also serve as a model for other drought-prone areas of the country and the region.

NEF has worked in Morocco for over 25 years on a variety of projects ranging from education and employment initiatives to rural development. This newest project is being made possible through a grant from the United States Agency for International Development.¡


The Near East Foundation (NEF) leads innovative, grassroots social and economic change in impoverished communities throughout the Middle East and Africa. NEF empowers citizens to take control of their futures, giving them the tools they need to combat poverty and to thrive independently of foreign aid. This approach is bringing “knowledge, voice, and enterprise” to the region’s most vulnerable populations – among them women, at-risk youth, the rural poor, and urban slum-dwellers. Our vision is simple: help build a more prosperous region, with equality and economic opportunity for all, one community at a time.


This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through theUnited States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the Near East Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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