The unintended consequences smallholder adoption of fruit tree production in the High Atlas (Morocco)

Authors: Zachary Goldberg*, Penn State University
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: agriculture, development, agroforestry, water, pesticides, Amazigh, Morocco
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Harding, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Agroforestry projects have the allure of improving soil management practices and creating economic development. However, the introduction of fruit trees - specifically apples - as cash crops in the High Atlas brings more uncertainty to a place that has been undergoing rapid change in the last 100 years. This research looks at the role of plants in sociological change and proposes two findings. First, fruit trees demand consistent water inputs, which both demands unprecedented changes in water governance and presents a considerable risk for an arid alpine ecosystem. Second, pesticides and fertilizers are becoming normalized in rural peasant landscapes threatening specific species of food crops and reducing overall agrobiodiversity. These two findings will bring critical and important insights into development agendas in Morocco, while furthering understanding of the global agricultural economy.

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