ILike the pickers in her team, zza earns 3 dirhams (30 Euro cents) per kilogram of roses hand-picked by zza, which is then distilled in flower water or essential oils. This precious extract sells for as much as Morocco 15,000 Euros per kilogram.
She breathed, “We just earned enough money to live”, her gloved hands against the thorns and the hot spring sunshine in 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 with the woman’s head up until it was weighed.
Izza Ait Ammi Mouh, a Berber “about 40 years old” (she doesn’t know her exact age or how to spell her name) has no complaints. As he harvests 20 kg a day during the flowering period of about one month, this seasonal work allows him to “support a family of five.”
In spring, the fragrance of Rosa Damascena-the rose of Damascus, which was brought to travelers during the caravan trade-is scattered between the Atlas Mountains and the desert with two wadis-irrigated valleys. .
Everything revolves around this flower: the name of the hotel, the color of the taxi, the cosmetics from countless shops, the necklaces provided by the children on the road, the monumental sculpture adorning the Kelaat Mgouna roundabout, and the annual festival. The number of visitors before the coronavirus pandemic.
35-year-old Najad Hassad (Najad Hassad) concluded: “The rose is the only way to work in the valley.” She is happy to quit her job in a packaging factory and become 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, which is almost the minimum wage in Morocco-400 dirhams per month when leaving the factory. In this five-employee department, “she feels at home.”
Distillation makes it possible to produce floral water and essential oils and sell them in stores along with their cosmetic derivatives.
One gram of essential oil in a small box costs 170 dirhams-about 15,000 euros per kilogram, and requires 4 to 5 tons of flowers.
Rochdi Bouker, chairman of the Fimarose Federation of Moroccan growers and processors, believes that roses are “the engine of local development”, which pursues the popularity of natural and organic raw materials on a global scale.
Its goal: to obtain an organic label for the entire valley in order to promote its roses in the market dominated by Bulgaria and Turkey, the major producers of perfume roses.
He said: “We are lucky to be poor. We have no or very little treatment. Our valleys are not saturated with pesticides or pesticides.”
According to him, we must support cooperative distillation “to improve living conditions and fight rural exile.”
In order to increase income, it is necessary to “develop the highest yielding derivatives”: essential oils and concrete, a solvent-derived extract, once filtered, you can get the “absolute” rose, which is highly praised by luxury perfumes of.