Subsistence Farming in Morocco

Farmhouse in eastern Morocco

Simple homes like the one shown above are a common sight in the poorer parts of rural Morocco. At this point we were still travelling through the Atlas Mountains south east of Fes. As you can see in the picture, the terrain is very rocky all around. This means that there is no shortage of building materials – cheap, handy, easy to use and effective. Interestingly, the farmer is in the process of improving the look of the house by applying what looks like a form of whitewash to the walls.

Despite the remote location of this farm I notice that they do have a supply of electricity. I also note the satellite dish on the right hand side wall. In some of the towns such dishes could be seen in their hundreds, sometimes dozens on one apartment building alone. If you look carefully you can see the farmer ploughing the ground up the hill behind the house (see enlarged photo below). I have no idea what he was intending to grow. This was the middle of winter so he was getting ready for planting something in the early spring perhaps.

I noticed very few tractors in the poorer rural areas of Morocco. Donkey power was common, however, and this farmer was also using a donkey coupled with what looks like a mule.

Farming in eastern Morocco

A picture of patience in Fes, Morocco

A picture of patience in the medina of Fes, Morocco

During our meanderings in the medina of Fes in Morocco I photographed this very patient animal waiting for his owner. To me it does not look like a horse, and it is certainly too big to be one of the local donkeys which were common. It has to be a mule. It was just standing there patiently, totally ignoring the busy, noisy crowds milling around. It even ignored the patting of one of our tour group (the lady with the red head covering).

It was certainly a lot more docile than some of the local donkeys who tend to be quite lively and belligerent in their attempts to push their way through a crowded street. we had to be constantly alert for them, as well as the local motor bike riders.