Farmers in Gaza Expect Bumper Harvest

Growers expect to harvest 45 tons of olives, allowing them to meet domestic demand for olive oil and table olives and export the rest.
By Paolo DeAndreis
Oct. 24, 2022 13:14 UTC

The olive har­vest­ing sea­son is under­way in the Gaza Strip, a coastal Palestinian enclave, with author­i­ties expect­ing a four-fold increase in olive yields.

Ayman Al-Yazouri, Gaza’s min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture, told local media that grow­ers should har­vest about 45 tons of olives, com­pared to the 12 tons har­vested last year.

There is a sur­plus… which would pave the way for farm­ers and traders to sell their olive oil out­side the Gaza Strip.- Nasr Abu Odeh, owner of Gaza’s largest mill

This olive sea­son is the best in recent years due to the abun­dance of pro­duc­tion and the expan­sion of the cul­ti­vated areas,” he said. This sea­son is being used to mark the impor­tance of the olive tree, what it rep­re­sents to Palestinians and their his­tory.”

According to the International Olive Council (IOC) fig­ures, Palestine, which includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip, pro­duced approx­i­mately 27,000 tons of olive oil in the 2021/22 crop year and 14,500 tons the year before.

See Also:2022 Harvest Updates

Farmers and landown­ers will be able to pick about one ton of olives from each hectare [of olive groves],” Adham al-Bassiouni, a min­istry spokesman, told The New Arab. They will have the chance to make up for the losses they incurred in the pre­vi­ous years because of the coro­n­avirus crises and cli­mate change.

Olive oil and table olive pro­duc­tion are very impor­tant to the local econ­omy, and farm­ers hope to export both prod­ucts to sev­eral Arab mar­kets due to the bumper har­vest.

There is a sur­plus… which would pave the way for farm­ers and traders to sell their olive oil out­side the Gaza Strip,” Nasr Abu Odeh, owner of the largest olive oil mill in Gaza, told the Palestine Chronicle.

Fawwaz al-Kafarna, an olive farmer in Beit Hanoun, told The New Arab that he had to hire 20 work­ers to har­vest his groves this year com­pared to the four he hired last year. Such sea­sons are golden chances for thou­sands of work­ers to make some money,” he said.

Despite high expec­ta­tions for the cur­rent har­vest, ten­sions between Gaza and Israel, which erupted in August and resulted in more than 400 Palestinian casu­al­ties, are among the most sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges that grow­ers face.

Local reports indi­cated that some farm­ers had dif­fi­cul­ties reach­ing their trees to begin har­vest­ing after Israeli sol­diers report­edly closed sec­tions of the Gaza Strip ahead of the Jewish hol­i­days.


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