MOROCCO / FOOD CLIMATE CHANGE

10-Mar-2015 00:03:34
Famous Italian chef Carlo Cracco travelled to Morocco to draw attention to the threat that climate change poses to many of the world’s traditional foods - like Moroccan truffles, a staple ingredient that has become increasingly scarce. IFAD
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STORY: MOROCCO / FOOD CLIMATE CHANGE
TRT: 3:34
SOURCE: IFAD
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ITALIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 3 - 4 MARCH 2015, EASTERN HIGHLANDS, MOROCCO
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Cracco’s car on road
2. Close up, Cracco in the car
3. Med shot, Cracco arrives and met by head of household
4. Wide shot, Cracco and Fatma Abed at table in courtyard
5. Med shot, Cracco smells truffle while listening to Fatma
6. Close up, Cracco’s hands pealing a truffle
7. Med shot, Cracco and Fatma pealing truffles
8. Close up, Fatma’s hands peeling a truffle
9. Med shot, Cracco and Fatma pealing truffles
10. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Carlo Cracco, Chef
“It makes you realize how important man’s touch is, culture, maintaining a tradition and not to abandon it. If you abandon it the desert advances. If you continue to cultivate and preserve your territory, the territory flourishes.”
11. Close up, Fatma adding spices to water
12. UPSOUND (Italian) Carlo Cracco, chef:
“She is putting the spices in water to make a type of marinade.”
13. Med shot, Cracco and Fatma cutting lamb
14. UPSOUND (Italian), Carlo Cracco, chef:
“This lamb is excellent. It is from this region and is a principle source of food and it feeds on all these wonderful plants here.”
15. Various shots, tagine on fire and being stirred
16. Close up, sheep grazing
17. Wide shot, sheep with herder
18. Med shot, Cracco listening to project field assistant Aziza Jebbari
19. Close up, Artemisia herba alba plant
20. Close up, fencing
21. Wide shot, micro-dam
22. Wide shot, workers planting Atriplex plants and Aziza Jebbari checking
23. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Carlo Cracco, chef:
“Climate change is a fact, it is difficult to change or reverse the process, perhaps it is no longer possible. We can slow it down, but we cannot stop it. So we must help those people who work to recuperate the land, so that there is a change in the way we fight the battle of climate change.”
24. Varios shots, Cracco and Fatma’s family eating tagine
STORYLINE
Famous Italian chef Carlo Cracco, renowned for his innovative recipes merging traditional Italian cuisine with textures and flavors from all over the world, has come to the highlands of Eastern Morocco to cook regional specialties threatened by climate change.

Carlo Cracco is one of the three judges of Masterchef Italy, presenter of Hell’s Kitchen and chef and owner of Cracco restaurant, which has earned two Michelin stars and is listed as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. He has also been appointed regional ambassador for the upcoming Universal Exposition in Milan, Expo2015 ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.’

Chef Cracco was invited by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to take part in filming a series called Recipes for Change, where top chefs travel to developing countries to prepare and cook foods that are being threatened by climate change and show how IFAD is working with farmers to adapt to the very real impacts of climate change in their communities.

This part of Morocco is an environmentally fragile area, with approximately 75 per cent of its farmers living under the poverty line. Hard hit in recent years by climate change and over grazing, vast areas of land are stripped of all vegetation.

This region stands at around 1000-1400 meters above sea level and is where Moroccan truffles (known as terfass) can be found. Once a staple food in this area, they are now becoming increasingly rare due to unpredictable weather and desertification. Grown underground, this mysterious fungi grows as a result of wet autumn weather and heavy rainfall. Degraded, infertile lands have a huge impact on truffle crops as they are not farmed but foraged and are reliant on host plants.

The lack of truffles is also affecting famers’ livelihoods. Although livestock is the backbone of the local economy, many small holders rely on truffles for extra income.

Teaming up with 70 year old local farmer Fatma Abed, Chef Cracco prepares a traditional regional tagine with lamb and Terfass.

Chef Carlo Cracco said “It makes you realize how important man’s touch is, culture, maintaining a tradition and not to abandon it. If you abandon the land, the desert will advance. But if you continue to cultivate and preserve the terrain, then the land thrives and flowers.”

Due to degradation of rangelands, exacerbated by climate change, sheep are also losing their grazing land. These local horned sheep are of the Ben Guil breed. The meat has a particular flavor from the indigenous aromatic plants they eat (mainly Artemisa Herba Alba).

Carlo Cracco explained “this lamb is excellent. It lives in this region and is a principle source of food. It lives thanks to all these magnificent plants it can eat.”

As the tagine simmers on the fire, Cracco visits sites where work is being done to help stop the desert advancing. Collaborating closely with local communities and supported by IFAD, the United Nations Industrialization Development Organization (UNIDO) is promoting sustainable management of natural resources in an area extending over 3.5 million hectares.

Large areas were re-planted with indigenous plants and protected by fences to stop grazing. Acting like natural seed banks, the wind spreading the seeds; building micro dams for water collection, as well as planting drought resistant shrubs that help reduce soil erosion caused by increasingly more frequent torrential rains and strong winds.

Cracco said “climate change is a fact, it is difficult to change or reverse the process, perhaps it is no longer possible. Perhaps we can slow it down, but we cannot stop it. So we must help those people who work to recuperate the land, so that there is a change in the way we fight the battle of climate change.”

For now these farmers can still enjoy their local specialties of lamb and truffles and this (USD) 6 million project working in four provinces has benefited 100,000 people.
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