John Paul II Foundation / Magazine / Fatima al masaed, Passion and commitment cultivating aloe vera

Fatima al masaed, Passion and commitment cultivating aloe vera

The John Paul II Foundation introduced the aloe vera supply chain to Jordan. Aloe vera has existed in the Middle East since time immemorial, suffice it to say that it is mentioned among the beauty products used by Cleopatra, and apparently its benefits were known as early as the Nabataean era; however, it had never been treated as a value chain with the potential to bring substantial improvements to the country's rural economy.

From spring 2018 when it planted the first units at the Ghor Madsous Cooperative in the Jordan Valley until now late spring 2021, a time when 17 production entities scattered throughout Jordan are involved in the project.

About 40,000 plants have been planted, which have adapted to the terrain and to then proliferate into suckers that can be planted in turn, thus extending the plots.

A processing unit has also been built where the valuable gel, an ingredient in various cosmetic products in demand in the international market, can be extracted from the leaves; the same gel is equally in demand in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical fields.

Fatima, 54, also known by the name Umm Fares (Fares' mother), lives on the border with Syria, in the Governorate of Mafraq, a typically Bedouin area; years ago, Fatima, driven by a desire to improve the life of her first-born son, had set up a small village association, with the intention of facilitating recreational and educational activities for children with cognitive retardation. Umm Fares did not hesitate for a moment to integrate the aloe project; in October 2018, the Foundation planted 250 plants together with her in her 250 m2 parcellina.

The plants came up strong and tall; through ad hoc organized formations.

We taught the aloe vera women processing techniques, to process the leaves and make galenic products (soap, gel, creams, toothpaste, hair oil) even in the absence of processing laboratories.

Fatima rolled up her sleeves and now produces 7 different aloe vera products, which she sells in local markets and extends her market through word of mouth from her customers, who are very satisfied with the quality of her products.

This is just one example of how harmonious the outcome can become in a development project when those implementing a project come across a willing and dynamic beneficiary.

To review the Fatima video:

Sign up for newsletter