Friday, August 14, 2020

Gaza achieves self-sufficiency in olive production


By K. Künzl - December 13, 2019
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Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza]

The Palestine Ministry of Agriculture announced Sunday that the occupied Gaza strip has become self-sufficient in olive production for the first time in 25 years. 


The ministry’s undersecretary, Ibrahim Al-Qudra, stated, “the total quantity of the strip-produced olive fruits this year was amounting to 26,237 tons, adding that it had led to the production of 4,200 tons of olive oil”. 


The ability to pick and sell olives is not only vital to Gaza’s economy but a pastime enjoyed by families across the Strip.


Decades of occupation and devastating Israeli military assaults have caused a significant decline in olive production in the area.


According to Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture, “despite olives being one of Gaza’s main crops, 500 tons of olive products are imported to the territory every year”.


The ministry banned the importation of olive oil in September in an effort to “support local production”.


Official data by the ministry reveals the total consumption of olive oil in gaza to be 4,000 tons.


Separately, the ministry also announced this past week that a quantity of strawberries were exported to Gulf countries from Gaza for the first time as a “test sample”.


Ministry Director, Adham Al-Bassiouni, said in a press statement that “three tonnes of strawberries were exported on Wednesday as a sample to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain,” Middle East Monitor reported


Al-Bassiouni also stated that total production of strawberries is expected to reach 5,100 tonnes this year.


“The ministry is planning to export strawberries this year to the Gulf countries, the occupied West Bank, as well as other international markets,” Al-Bassiouni said.


The first signs of progress since Russia started importing strawberries from the besieged coastal enclave in 2017.

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