Saudi Arabia produced 3,600 tons of “Rosa Damascus” in 2020, mainly exported in the form of flower water and dried flowers.
Like the pickers in his team, Izza Aït Ammi Mouh earns 3 dirhams (about 0.28 euros) per kilogram of roses that are hand-picked, and then distilled in flower water or essential oil, a precious extract sold in Morocco , The price is 15,000 Euros per kilogram. “We earn enough money to make ends meet”, She breathed, her gloved hands against thorns, and the top of her head was covered with the hot springs of the “Rose Valley” in the southern part of the kingdom.
The harvest started at dawn and it took about six hours to fill the big bag on the woman’s head until it was weighed.But Iza, the elderly Berber“About 40 years” -She doesn’t know his exact age or how to spell his name-No complaint.This seasonal work allowed him to “Feed him a family of five” Thanks to the harvest of 20 kg a day during the flowering period, it lasted about a month.
In spring, the intoxicating smell Rosa (Rosa damascena) -The roses of Damascus are attracted by business travelers when they travel.-Between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, the valley irrigated by two wadis exudes fragrance. Here, everything revolves around this flower: the name of the hotel, the color of the taxi, the cosmetics in countless shops, the necklaces provided by the children on the road, the monumental sculpture decorated with the Kelaat Mgouna roundabout, and the festivals that attract every year. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of visitors.
“The rose is the only way to work in the valley”Sum up the 35-year-old Najad Hassad (Najad Hassad). She was very happy to leave a packaging plant and started working as the manager of the Rosamgoun Cooperative, a winery founded by two agricultural sisters. The salary is much better, 2,500 dirhams per month (about 230 euros, almost the minimum wage in Morocco), while the factory salary is 400 dirhams.She feels ” stay with family” In this department of five employees.
Distillation makes it possible to produce floral water and essential oils and sell them in stores along with their cosmetic derivatives. The price of essential oil per gram in a small box is 170 dirhams, or about 15,000 euros per kilogram, and four to five tons of flowers are needed.
Rochdi Bouker, president of the Moroccan Rose Professional Rose Federation, believes that roses are “The driving force for local development” By taking advantage of the global popularity of natural and organic raw materials. The goal is to obtain an organic label throughout the valley to promote its roses in markets dominated by Bulgaria and Turkey (the main producers of perfume roses). “We are lucky to be poor. We have no or very little treatment. Our valley is not saturated with pesticides or pesticides.”, He says.
According to him, we must support cooperative distillation “Improve living conditions and fight the exodus from rural areas”.In order to increase income, it is necessary “Developed the most profitable derivative” ：Essential oil and concrete are extracts obtained through solvents. After filtration, “absolute” roses can be obtained, which are highly valued by luxury perfumes. The export is basically limited to flower water and dried flowers. The rest is confidential: According to Fimarose data, about 50 kg of essential oil and 500 kg of concrete per year are a far cry from the industrial volume of Bulgaria and Turkey.
“The first buyers were tourists. Unfortunately, Covid-19 blocked everything”, Mohamed Kaci (Mohamed Kaci) explained. The 40-year-old man started from a static place. Now, he has 30 employees in the company who specialize in cosmetics business. Due to the health crisis, the price of fresh flowers has fallen by about 30% since the last season. Previously, the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture made a series of efforts to develop the sector, attract investors and increase production. The price of fresh flowers rose by -3,600 tons. According to the statistics of the meeting, by 2020, about 950 hectares will bloom.
But Hafsa Chakibi is still optimistic. This 30-year-old French-Moroccan woman founded the company in 2016 after earning a degree from the University of Chemistry, focusing on organic, small amounts and distillation. “traditional” On copper.Its flower water “all natural” Find customers quickly “Who is looking for extra points” In Canada, China, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.She wants to start “Soon” It has higher added value in organic concrete.