28 novembre 2023

Torba as an example of Social Entrepreneurship in Algeria

Extract from a Master thesis of International Business 2016 Tufts University (USA), by Kristine Wagner
« Power in Innovation. Evaluating the Potential of Social Entrepreneurship in Algeria »

Location: Algiers, Chrea
Legal Status: Association (pending)
Synopsis/Social Innovation: Collectif Torba, roughly translated from Arabic as “the collective
of soil”, promotes permaculture, agro-ecology and organic farming practices, while concurrently seeking to encourage urban Algerians to reconnect with nature, the land and farming. Inspired by
the teachings of French-Algerian farmer and environmentalist Pierre Rabhi, Collectif Torba hosts
awareness workshops targeting adults and children from primary and secondary schools around
Algeria. It invites people to purchase organic produce it grows with its partners, as well as to
participate in the cultivation of the land by planting trees and seeds, harvesting and taking produce
to the market. According to its vice president, Rafik Djebbour “Torba is the link between the
farmer and the urban environment.” It has two locations for its activities – one is a farm owned
and run by a local farmer named Rachid located in the Chrea National Park, and the other is a
small plot of fertile land purchased by its founder and president, veterinarian/agro-ecologist Karim
Rahal. Some members of the collective partake in a farmshare program organized in collaboration
with Rachid.
Financial Sustainability/Needs: Torba buys from Rachid in bulk and at market
prices for the purpose of its farmshare, allowing Rachid to have a more stable income stream.
When members of the collective go and work on Rachid’s farm for a day, either as individuals
or with their families, they are reimbursed in-kind with a lunch made by Rachid’s family out
of the produce that happens to be in season. Collectif Torba might be inspired to scale up and add
more of a business dimension to their work, but it has noted that the lack of a social enterprisespecific
legal statute is discouraging to those ambitions; therefore, it chooses not to seek profit at
this point in time. Sustainability, for Collectif Torba, is measured not in dinars but by the number
of people participating in their farming efforts, the number of people buying into the farm share,
and the number of people concerned about protecting the environment and agricultural heritage
through organic farming techniques in Algeria. They intend to slowly inculcate other Algerian
farmers to the benefits of agroecology and organic farming, while continuing their relationship with

2 thoughts on “Torba as an example of Social Entrepreneurship in Algeria

  1. Bonsoir , vraiment Bravo belle initiative …je développe tant qu’architecte un mémoire sur les jardins potagers c’est dans le contexte de cette approche participative ( associée aux objectifs de développement durable ), j’ai hesité puisque je se savais comment appliquer ca aux contexte algérien , comment puis je trouver un site de rcehrche et la à travers votre actions vraimt ca m’a inspirer et je suis trés contente de savoir que la on y bien placé dans des problématiques d’actualités en Europe et que l’algérie a déja adopter ces aaproches …Merci à vous et je serai trés honoré d’assister à une de vos actions inchallah ….Bonne continuation et Jazakom allah khayran 🙂

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