The Olive Oil Without Borders project is seen as an opportunity for this land long divided by a history of blood, wars and violence.

The sec­ond edi­tion of Olive Oil Without Borders, a project sup­ported by USAID and the Near East Foundation to build eco­nomic coop­er­a­tion in the olive oil sec­tor between Israeli and Palestinian farm­ers and com­mu­ni­ties, was announced January 26 dur­ing a con­fer­ence held in Kufr Rai, in West Bank, accord­ing to the the Palestine Olive Council.

The coun­try direc­tor of Near East Foundation for the West Bank, Salah Abu Eisheh, and other per­son­al­i­ties of the sec­tor were present at the cer­e­mony.

Olive oil pro­duc­tion and trade is one of the main com­po­nents of the local econ­omy, as well as a part of local cul­ture and tra­di­tion.

The project first was launched in 2005 with the aim of facil­i­tat­ing the shar­ing of tech­ni­cal expe­ri­ences about cul­ti­va­tion, pro­duc­tion and qual­ity dur­ing work­shops, con­fer­ences and sim­i­lar events orga­nized to remove bar­ri­ers between the com­mu­ni­ties and start a new eve of friend­ship and coop­er­a­tion through the olive oil of this ancient land.

The suc­cess of the project had a pos­i­tive impact on the econ­omy of 34 com­mu­ni­ties in Israel and West Bank, and the hope is to repeat such achieve­ments in improv­ing olive oil qual­ity and incomes in both the com­mu­ni­ties.

So far the Near East Foundation has involved more than 3,000 Palestinian farm­ers in the project and improved their know-how in olive oil pro­duc­tion, har­vest­ing and post-har­vest­ing oper­a­tions. NEF also cares about the com­mer­cial issues and helps these small pro­duc­ers in pre­sent­ing their prod­ucts to the mar­ket to gain a fair price.

During the con­fer­ence these aspects and other goals were men­tioned. The Olive Oil Without Borders project is seen as an oppor­tu­nity for this land long divided by a his­tory of blood, wars and vio­lence.



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