Coopérative Féminine Marjana

by tiresomemoi

WelcomeThe demonstration area

In the old days, argon pits were plucked from goat dung. Nowadays, cultivated trees* are kept relatively small and the fruit is harvested without the use of goats.

Goats in an argan treeGoats in trees too

As far as I can tell argan oil is magic. It can be eaten in various forms, turned into soaps and cosmetics, and used for various medical purposes.

If you find yourself on the road from Marrakech to Essaouira stop by Coopérative Féminine Marjana. Their prices are far from the cheapest but you’ll leave feeling good about your purchases. The cooperative provides jobs for women with few other marketable skills and helps keep traditional skills alive.

The fruitThe fruit

Step one, the husk is removedStep one

Step two, the shell is removedStep two

Step two, tooRound two

A skilled nut cracker can produce about a kilo a day (even in modern facilities this part of the process must be done by hand). One liter of argan oil started out as about 38 kilos of nuts (2.5 kilos of raw kernels).

Raw kernelsThe meat

Kernels destined for consumption are roasted to release their bitterness and enhance their nuttiness. Kernels bound for lotions, salves, hair products, etc. are left in their natural state.

The machineThe machine

Add water and stir (the extraction process)Add water and stir

Disc of nutty goodness Disc of nutty goodness


The parking area between the demonstration building, the restrooms, and the shop is gravel but rollable. Both the shop and demonstration area are stepless. The middle restroom in the bank closest to the demonstration area is large and stepless.



*Argan trees can live up to 200 years.

More about argan oil here (in English) and about Coopérative Féminine Marjana here (in French)