The Oriental region has seen significant growth in the cooperative sector, especially since the entry into force of the new Cooperatives Law No. 112.12. This sector plays a major role in the economic, social, educational, cultural, environmental and sustainable development of the region, both in terms of production and services. In addition, it contributes significantly to the socio-economic integration of various marginalized groups, whether from rural or urban areas, such as women and young project leaders in various sectors of activity. This translates into the creation of income-generating activities, providing access to decent work and improving the living conditions of the regional population.
This trend can be explained by the commitment of regional stakeholders, especially partners of the regional delegation of the Office, to support the cooperative sector through assistance and accompanying measures in terms of management.
The region’s cooperative sector is characterized by a predominance in the fields of agriculture, handicrafts, retail trade and services, labour, as well as aromatic and medicinal plants. There is also an increase in the creation of cooperatives in new sectors such as waste recycling, renewable energy, art and culture, e-commerce, stationery and communication.
The cooperatives are mainly located in the provinces of Oujda Angad, Figuig, Jrada, Berkane and Taourirt.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
The 5th edition of the Regional Fair of Social and Solidarity Economy
Participation of the regional delegation of the Office of Cooperation Development in Oujda in the 5th edition of the Regional Social and Solidarity Economy Fair organized by the regional council in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social and Solidarity Economy, from May 26 to June 4, 2023 in Oujda, around the theme “20 years of achievements of the Royal Initiative: the social and solidarity economy, a lever for sustainable and equitable development”.
This exhibition aims to highlight the richness and diversity of local products in the region, to promote the culture of cooperation and solidarity between the different actors of the Social and Solidarity Economy: production, agricultural and service cooperatives, associations and public actors including the Office of Cooperation Development (ODCO). More than 540 exhibitors, including 270 production, service and craft cooperatives, took part in the show. This edition was marked by the launch of an innovative digital platform for the e-commerce of cooperatives’ products. During this edition, a stand was dedicated to the regional delegation, which also participated via an intervention in the training workshop by recounting project ideas and new professions in the social and solidarity economy.
8th edition of the Regional Exhibition of Local Products
The regional delegation of the Office of Cooperation Development took part in the 8th edition of the regional exhibition of local products, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Forests in collaboration with the association of the Beni Yaznassen rural family house, the regional directorate of agriculture of the Oriental region and the regional directorate of agricultural advice. The event was held from 14 to 23 July 2023 in Saidia, with the central theme “Green generation: solidarity agriculture as a pillar of the development of local products”.
During this fair, the regional delegation was present on July 17, 2023 and spoke during the first study day focused on the topic “New generation professional organizations as a driver for the promotion of local products”.
Within the framework of the cooperation project “AEDIB NET: African European Digital innovation bridge Network” funded by the European Union and implemented by the Belgian Development Agency in Morocco Enabel, visits were made to three cooperatives located in the Oriental region: the craft cooperative “Hasbia Fashion (Oujda), the craft cooperative “Nassim Jbel Al Mahssar” (Jrada) and the agricultural cooperative “Nour” (Madagh-Berkane) in the presence of the representatives of the regional delegation , representatives of the Enabel agency and 24 women laureates from training institutes (university, ISTA and OFPPT).
This project aims to support 24 young women in digitalization and entrepreneurship. A Hackathon was organized in Berkane beforehand for the benefit of 70 participants under the theme “Digitalization and the involvement of regional ecosystems.
PROGRAMS AND PARTNERSHIPS
Oriental Integrated Local Development Program
Within the framework of the Oriental Integrated Local Development Programme (DELIO), a partnership agreement has been signed between the Oriental Agency (ADO), the United Nations Development Programme, the Office of Cooperation Development (ODCO) and the National Office for Agricultural Advice (ONCA).
This program aims to provide support to local actors within the framework of the poverty reduction strategy, the enhancement of local product sectors, the implementation of social and economic projects and the promotion of youth and women’s employment.
This program consists of the implementation of a support and capacity building plan for agricultural and agri-food, artisanal and ecotourism cooperatives, through training sessions organized by ODCO, ADO and ONCA, and the optimization of the production chain through the acquisition of necessary equipment and materials through a call for expressions of interest launched for the benefit of cooperatives; The aim is to support and develop employment in the Oriental region.
Successful cooperative models
Moughl cooperative for the production and valorization of agricultural products was created on September 26, 2016 in the rural commune of Beni Guil Bouarfa, province of Figuig, in southeastern Morocco.
The Moughl cooperative has 15 women members. And it employs (6) permanent employees and (30) seasonal employees.
This cooperative was created to organize the production and marketing of beldi cumin as part of an income-generating activity, to create employment opportunities for the benefit of the inhabitants and women of the commune of Beni Guil, and to enhance and preserve natural resources.
The cooperative's products include cumin seeds, cumin powder and its derivatives. Beldi cumin is known for its therapeutic virtues and its particular organoleptic qualities.
The cooperative's products are marketed locally, provincially, regionally, nationally and internationally, at fairs and exhibitions in which it participates, and online through its social media pages.
The cooperative is approved by the National Office of Food Safety (ONSSA) to carry out its production activities and market beldi cumin in the best conditions (approval n°EC 49.08.17).
The cooperative also has several other certificates and labels such as: the export certificate, the collective label, the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) of cumin and the certificate of the Moroccan terroir.
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Hasbia Fashion, based in Jawhara, Oujda, in the Oriental region, stands out in the sector as a cooperative dedicated to modern and traditional sewing, as well as handmade embroidery. Under the enlightened presidency of Hassbia Nouari, the Hasbia Fashion cooperative currently has 30 active members and employs six talented workers. Rooted in the prefecture of Oujda-Angad, this thriving cooperative is a true hotbed of creativity, combining traditional craft heritage with unique contemporary designs
The cooperative was created with the aim of promoting local female employment. It has benefited from the support of the INDH for the acquisition of equipment dedicated to modern and traditional sewing. The cooperative has distinguished itself by participating in several fairs and exhibitions at the provincial, regional and national levels. Notably, it won the prize for the best idea for the development of a women's cooperative project at the first edition of "Lalla al Moutaaouina" in 2021, an event organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts, and Social Economy as well as the ODCO. Faced with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the cooperative was the first in the Oriental region to engage in the production and sales of IMANOR-certified masks, from the beginning of the health crisis. In recognition of its efforts, the cooperative was selected in 2021 by ICESCO and the National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, as part of a project to support innovation and entrepreneurship among youth and women for the production of IMANOR-certified masks. The members of this cooperative demonstrate a constant desire for innovation, continuous improvement of their activities and products, as well as the diversification of their customer base.