Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- Amid the International Exhibition for Argan taking place currently in Agadir, various women’s cooperatives said they are facing growing challenges due to the dominance of large companies in the domestic Argan market. They are calling for government intervention to control the market and establish measures to protect the cooperative sector from intense competition, which is negatively impacting their livelihoods.
Khadija Bouhssoun, the leader of a women’s cooperative near Guelmim, told Moroccan paper “Akhbar A Yaoum” that big companies have established a network of intermediaries who buy large quantities of raw argan and direct them towards export-oriented production, which has resulted in the bankruptcy of many cooperatives.
Bouhssoun stressed that as a direct result of the monopoly, the price of one liter of edible argan oil skyrocketed to 500 dirhams due to a scarcity of raw argan in local markets. This scarcity is a direct consequence of companies acquiring a substantial share of the available supply in the domestic market. These companies then enter the international market, selling it at high prices.
Bouhssoun said various Argan cooperatives in the southern region have made multiple requests to the relevant ministry, urging them to intervene and regulate the Argan market. The cooperatives have proposed implementing a quota system to limit the competition faced by the fragile cooperative sector from these companies.
Bouhssoun said the consequences are dire as various cooperatives went bankrupt.