The "Economic reinforcement of women in the argan industry in Morocco" project was conceived by Cowater International, with financial assistance from the Government of Canada, including Global Affairs Canada. WSP designed and implemented a geographic information system (GIS) and a predictive model ("Géoportail") for managing and forecasting the production of this fruit. The project charter required that the solution should eventually be taken over by the industry and the Agence Nationale pour le Développement des Zones Oasiennes et de l'Arganier (ANDZOA), which was involved in every stage of the project. Based on Quebec forestry expertise, an experimental network of sample plots was set up to provide a set of characteristics for the argan grove area. These observations, coupled with deep learning techniques, enabled the development of a predictive model of argan production adapted to environmental factors and Moroccan reality. Weekly "hands-on" meetings were set up to enable the integration of new data and the configuration of the tool. Guides and videos were then produced to document various processes and technologies. Virtual sessions and workshops, culminating in the Moroccan technical team's visit to Canada, ensured effective ownership of the solution by the partner. Thanks to the final product developed, called "Geoportal of the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve", the WSP team, with the support of Cowater and ANDZOA, has helped give greater visibility to production and greater economic autonomy to women working in this sector. The tool's ability to improve its own predictions was particularly noteworthy for the jury as it will provide a better understanding of the correlation between climate change and production and management forecasting.
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Hear what the Jury Chair had to say about this project.