Playing an integral role in the regional economy, the cooperative sector assumes a pivotal position in the development of the Souss-Massa region. This is illustrated by the substantial growth in the number of cooperatives and cooperative unions over the years, increasing from 1 266 in 2013 to 4 772 in 2022. Notably, this growth has been most pronounced in the agricultural sector since 2009, coinciding with the launch of the “Plan Maroc Vert”, with an annual average of more than 100 new agricultural cooperatives being established.

At present, there are 2 896 agricultural cooperatives, followed by the argan sector with 621 cooperatives and the handicraft sector with 594 cooperatives. The agricultural cooperatives are further categorized into 18 distinct branches of activity, with a noteworthy mention of women’s cooperatives specializing in argan oil production. They are succeeded by beekeeping, breeding, and dairy cooperatives engaged in the collection and processing, as well as those involved in the domain of aromatic and medicinal plants. This expansion bears testimony to the vibrant and thriving nature of the cooperative movement within the region.

The Agriculture Industry

The Souss region assumes a prominent position in the national production of vegetables, citrus fruits, argan oil, and bananas. It holds the top rank in the production of various agricultural commodities, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, bananas, and excels in the floriculture sector.

Nevertheless, the Massa area primarily centers its agricultural activities around tomato cultivation, while the Taroudant area focuses predominantly on citrus cultivation and livestock farming. The Chtouka area is characterized by its preeminence in market gardening, and the Tata region specializes in the production of oasis-based products.

This diversification of agricultural activities significantly contributes to the economic prosperity of the region.

The Handicraft Industry

The craftsmanship of Souss-Massa serves as a reflection of the cultural opulence of the region, showcasing exceptional products that bear testimony to the Amazigh way of life and traditions. Among the region’s iconic offerings, one can discover jewelry from Tiznit, slippers from Tafraout, and rugs from Tata.

In total, the region is home to 594 craft cooperatives, encompassing 32 diverse branches of activity. Sewing stands out as the primary craft, followed by bakery and pastry cooperatives, beauty products, and catering cooperatives. These cooperatives play a significant role in preserving and promoting the region’s rich artisanal heritage.

The Fishing Industry

The fishing sector presents substantial opportunities for the Souss-Massa region, deeply rooted in the coastal traditions of the area. This sector has recently experienced a resurgence aimed at modernizing its operations. With its extensive 180 kilometers of Atlantic coastline and the abundant biodiversity of its marine waters, the Souss-Massa region has positioned itself as the leading destination for high-value seafood products and ranks third globally in terms of volume.

This achievement is supported by a major fishing port in Agadir, which unloads a remarkable 54,046 tons of seafood, as well as nine well-developed landing points with an estimated value of 457 138 MAD in Agadir and an additional 21.5 between the PDAs of Imssouane, Imiouadar, and Taghazout. The region contributes 36% of the national added value in this sector and commands a 3.3% share of the global market. Fishing activities generate 170 000 direct jobs and 490 000 indirect jobs, impacting the livelihoods of over 3 million individuals. These figures continue to grow, partly due to the establishment of Héliopolis Park. Currently, the region is home to 32 fishing cooperatives, playing an integral role in the ongoing development of this sector.




Launch of the
« Motatawi3 » Program in the Souss Massa Region

In close partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication, a launch workshop for the “MOTATAWI3” program was successfully conducted on Friday, July 28, 2023, at the premises of the Superior School of Technology in Agadir. This event brought together a total of 175 young trainees hailing from various provinces and prefectures within the region.

The primary objective of this program is to prepare these young individuals for integration into cooperatives, National Mutual Aid social centers, and local healthcare facilities situated in proximity to their places of residence. The “MOTATAWI3” program is designed to provide these young interns with a unique opportunity to partake in professional internships, enabling them to gain practical experience within these host institutions. This promising initiative is geared toward nurturing the skills of young participants and fostering their active involvement in community life.

In essence, this launch workshop signifies the commencement of a collaborative endeavor aimed at preparing and integrating young interns into professional environments conducive to their personal development. Thanks to the “MOTATAWI3” program, these young individuals will have the chance to acquire valuable skills while making significant contributions to their communities.


In commemoration of the annual World Cooperatives Day, recognized as “COOPSDAY’23” and organized by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the Development and Project Management Research Team (EDPM) within the Business Management Research Laboratory (LARGE) at the National School of Business and Management (ENCG) in Agadir collaborated with the regional delegation of the Office of Cooperation Development in Agadir. This collaborative effort also involved institutional representatives, professionals, and researchers from the Moroccan cooperative sector, resulting in the organization of an exceptional scientific event held on June 15, 2023, at ENCG in Agadir.

Under the captivating theme of “The cooperative model: Balancing Economic Efficiency and Social Responsibility,” this scientific event served as a platform for numerous presentations, conferences, and discussions led by distinguished experts in their respective fields.


Support program for professional organizations

In pursuit of its commitment to advancing agricultural development in the region and supporting professional organizations across various local sectors, as well as livestock breeders, the Chamber of Agriculture of the Souss-Massa region convened the responsible technical committee tasked with selecting agricultural cooperatives eligible for its program.

This meeting took place on September 22, 2023, with the participation of the ODCO’s regional delegation in the committee’s deliberations. The selection process was informed by diverse criteria, including the legal status of cooperatives, in addition to the successful completion of an oral interview conducted before the committee.

The grant program encompasses a wide array of agricultural equipment, with a particular focus on those utilized in livestock rearing, herb cultivation, the production of argan oil, vegetable oils, saffron, couscous, and fruits. In total, this initiative impacts 451 units of equipment, with the overarching goal of bolstering the capacities of local agricultural cooperatives across various sectors and facilitating their economic development.

Professional integration projects for people with disabilities

The ODCO’s regional delegation participated on Monday, October 9, 2023, in the work of the regional commission responsible for examining and validating 21 income-generating projects intended for these people with disabilities, in accordance with the agreement concluded on December 3, 2020 between the Ministry of Solidarity, Social Inclusion and Family, the Ministry of Economic Inclusion of Small Business, Employment and Skills, National Mutual Aid, the Agency National for the Promotion of Employment and Skills, as well as the Office of Cooperation Development, as part of the implementation of the program aimed at promoting professional integration and income-generating activities for people  with disabilities, financed by the Support Fund for Social Protection and Social Cohesion.

This program aims to support people with disabilities in several ways, particularly by improving their employability, facilitating their integration into self-employment, supporting them in the creation of small businesses and income-generating activities, by strengthening professional skills in this area, and mobilizing additional resources to facilitate their professional integration. This initiative aims to create economic opportunities and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor market and the entrepreneurial sector.

Regional Program for the Establishment and Support of Agricultural Cooperatives in the Souss-Massa Region 2020-2030.

This agreement represents a continuation of the ongoing efforts to establish and organize agricultural cooperatives within the framework of the national program for creating a new generation of agricultural cooperatives for the period 2020-2030. This initiative is facilitated through an innovative and effective partnership with the goal of elevating agricultural cooperatives to the status of enterprises capable of addressing market challenges and actively participating in wealth creation and job generation.

The principal objective of this agreement is to formulate and execute collaborative action plans that will transition these cooperatives from the conventional model to a “Business” model, thereby transforming them into highly productive, self-reliant, and efficient enterprises. These agreements also furnish essential support to streamlining the creation of cooperatives, organizing them within cooperative unions, and enhancing their managerial and governance capabilities.

The new generation of agricultural cooperatives presents a significant opportunity for increased integration into both national and international markets, while promoting certified and environmentally sustainable production practices. Furthermore, these cooperatives play a vital role in fostering entrepreneurship among rural youth, thereby contributing to the sustainable economic development of agricultural regions.

Successful cooperative models

Innovative Sectors

The global urgency of the climate crisis is taking a toll on countries worldwide, and Morocco is no exception. Extreme heat, prolonged droughts, and heavy rainfall have led to soil and crop degradation, with dire consequences for the region’s economy, public health, and food security. It is crucial to engage the entire population, with a specific focus on vulnerable individuals residing in remote rural areas, and women who have been largely excluded from the ongoing energy transition. In response to this pressing need, an ambitious project has been initiated under the program “Argan and Rural Women Committed to Economic and Inclusive Development and the Climate,” which seeks to establish a 100% female-led solar sector tailored to the requirements of cooperatives, businesses, and rural households.

Over the span of three years of dedicated effort, approximately twenty young female technicians, either graduates of the Office for Skills Training and the Promotion of Work (OFPPT) or holding Master’s degrees, were mentored as part of a comprehensive training program. The primary objective was to equip them for the establishment of two female-led solar energy cooperatives, “Noure Sun” and “Holol Chamssia,” in Agadir in 2021. These young women specialize in the production of solar solutions, which include solar dryers and solar cookers.

The solar dryer is employed for drying a range of agricultural products, such as fruits, aromatic and medicinal plants, and seafood products, notably fish. The products created by these two cooperatives exhibit outstanding characteristics, encompassing natural drying, the use of clean, solar-generated energy, and effective food preservation, preserving the color, shape, taste, and aroma of the products. These initiatives not only promote the utilization of renewable energy sources but also have a positive impact on agriculture, fishing, and the conservation of local food resources. Moreover, they contribute significantly to the active participation of women in the transition toward a more sustainable future.

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“Taitmatine” women’s agricultural cooperative-Taroudant

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The TAITMATINE Women's Agricultural Cooperative, founded on October 27, 2002 in the rural commune of Tiout, located in the province of Taroudant, in the south of Morocco, currently has more than 100 members, and collaborates with various national and international partners.
Its main objective is to improve the socio-economic conditions of rural women by increasing their income. Among the social activities it carries out, we find literacy programs, members training, as well as a nursery for the children of families in the region.
The cooperative is actively involved in the social development of women. It has achieved several notable successes, including obtaining the food safety certificate, the organic farming certificate, and the geographical indication certificate for argan trees. In addition, it has participated in trade fairs and exhibitions on a national and international scale, and is a member of the professional federation of the argan tree sector.

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“Toudarte” women’s agricultural cooperative – Agadir

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The women's agricultural cooperative "Toudarte" was created in 2004. Specializing in the production of high quality Argan oil, for both cosmetic and culinary use. It is located in the heart of the argan forest, in the Imsouane region, at 85 kilometers from Agadir. The overall objective of this cooperative is to contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of rural women in the commune of Imsouane while playing an active role in the development of the region.
It should be noted that the Toudarte cooperative is a member of the GIE Targanine group, made up of six other cooperatives. It collaborates with several world-renowned brands in the cosmetics industry that are committed to fair trade, such as The Body Shop and L'Oréal.
Additionally, the cooperative supports various social initiatives, including literacy classes, medical services, childcare, as well as the provision of interest-free microcredits.

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