Kelaat M'Gouna or Tighremt n'Imgounen is a town located in southern Morocco. It is the sanctuary of Moroccan rose production.
In this region of Daar tafilelt and the province of Tinghir, At the foot of M'Goun (2nd highest peak in Morocco), the Valley of Roses is a link between the mountainous Atlas and the Gates of the desert.
The population of this region is largely Amazigh-speaking . This region is populated by traditional villages built of red adobe. It is best known for its “ rose festival ” which takes place every year in May, during the harvest of rose petals.
The Damascus rose of Morocco
The rose grown in this valley is the Damask Rose (rosa damascena); it is a variety that resists cold and drought.
Morocco, Bulgaria and Turkey are the three producers of Damascus roses in the world. Morocco only holds 5% of production.
The Moroccan rose is said to have been brought in the 11th century by pilgrims returning from Mecca.
It currently occupies 4,200 linear km in the form of hedges or fences around agricultural plots.
Harvest and yield
Rose buds are generally harvested during the first half of May , in the morning, at sunrise. It constitutes 3 and 4,000 tonnes of fresh flowers each year.
To obtain 1 kg of dry roses, you need 4 to 5 kg of fresh roses and 5 tonnes of fresh roses are necessary to extract 1 liter of rose essential oil.
Sustainable development and emancipation of women through the rose
The Berber women of Kelâat M'gouna are organized into associations: these women work hard to delicately pick the petals by hand.
These associations allow women to provide for themselves and their children through the cultivation, harvesting and distillation of local roses, the one and only treasure of this very poor region.
We have chosen to offer products of exceptional quality from Kelâat M'gouna and these cooperatives on our sales site to contribute to sustainable development and the emancipation of women in this valley.
Rose Festival: Economy and tourism of the region
For the entire region, the rose of the M'guna valley represents an important economic, cultural and tourist lever. It supports local initiatives, the promotion of products from small local producers and the establishment of partnerships between players in this field.
An association aims to support these cooperatives , particularly with regard to compliance with a previously defined social and environmental Quality and Ethics charter .
The Rose Festival: a cultural heritage
The Damask Rose is part of the cultural heritage of an entire region. Every year, at the beginning of May , the village of Kelaa M'Gouna organizes the Rose Festival. This moussem (festival) celebrates the flowering and picking of Damascus roses .
For three days, thousands of Moroccan and foreign visitors come to attend the party. At the entrance to the town, children offer them rose necklaces as a sign of welcome.
After the election of the Rose Queen, the inhabitants of the Rose Valley, beautifully dressed, welcome them to dance, sing and parade under a shower of petals and rose water.
Unfortunately, there is no infrastructure worthy of the destination.
The lack of upgrading of local infrastructure: in the hotel, catering and service sectors, does not currently make it possible to adequately support an event of this scale.
Which would make Kelaât M'Gouna a tourist destination and not a place of passage.
The rose found in this valley is called the rosa damascena (of Damascus) , which resists cold and drought. It would have been introduced by pilgrims returning from Mecca in the 10th century whose seeds would have fallen all along the path and since then, rose bushes have adorned and perfumed the entire valley with their fragrance. She was cultivated for local consumption in the form of rose water, but also for export and the perfume industry.