Argan trees are not the most aesthetically beautiful trees in the world – their bark is thick and barbed, and the branches are elongated and curved. But these Moroccan plants have a lot of fans – not only people but also goats, whose climb these trees in the direct sense of the word.
Argan trees grow almost exclusively in the sub-decay of the Souss region in the southwest of Morocco. They are rare and protected species, which are severely damaged due to intensive farming, livestock production, and charcoal production.
Argan forest areas have fallen by half in the last hundred years. Argan trees are matured once a year with fruits of couple centimeters long that hides nut and very oilseeds. That is what attracts the goats, which even climb the trees to eat them.
Such images, when the tree is full of goats, is most common in June when fruits are matured already. Local farmers do not wind off goats from trees. They only don’t allow them until the fruits get ripe. And then – a feast for goats. This is not only an attraction for tourists. Goats make a valuable product. They eat the fetuses and nuts, and the valuable seeds are removed from the nuts together with the stool because they do not tarnish them. Then one of the most expensive vegetable oils in the world – Argan – is extracted out of them.
Of course, now it is also extracted from Argan fruit in other ways, not only from goat’s stools. However, since these climbing goats bring a lot of benefits to their owners from tourists wishing to see them, farmers bring them more and more. As a result, the condition of Argan trees is deteriorating every year.