The village of Arg is a village located deep in the Atlas mountains and known for Saffron and natural medicinal herbs. The location of the village makes access to many services difficult. Illiteracy and poverty made the villagers strive for a total change. The village suffers from many problems. Mr. Lahcen; one of the Saffron farmers knows exactly what is needed to overcome those barriers. He started with a group of the villagers a cooperative that allowed them to make some money out of harvesting Saffron to cover their daily living expenses.
Mr. Lahcen and other cooperators invested their time and effort to develop the cooperative to make Saffron one of their main sources of income. With the cooperative, Mr. Lahcen and other cooperators have been able to participate in regional, national and international exhibitions. The main success for them is being able to participate in an agriculture exhibition in Spain. Being able to go to Spain and take their local product made them aware of the importance of marketing, networking, and being open to the global market. Despite limited knowledge, skills, and language barriers, they could have made it and become an example for other local farmers.
During our meeting with Mr. Lahcen, he shared with us some benefits and uses of Saffron. The first thing he recommended is using Saffron to make hot tea and milk, especially during the winter season. In addition, he stated that Saffron can be used to enhance the flavor and coloring of many types of foods such as Kebab, Grilled Chicken, Fish, Couscous, and of course Moroccan Tagine. In the meantime, Saffron also can be used in the production of all kinds of cheese and desserts. Mr. Lahcen stated that harvesting saffron requires more investments, especially with new equipment that will facilitate the farmers’ work in all stages and raise the saffron production.