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Olive harvest: Squeezing Gaza’s resources

The olive harvest is considered a celebration for Palestinians and brings good days for farmers in Gaza, as well as in Palestine in general. The Gaza Strip grows several types of olives, such as Souri, Chemlali, and K18.

This year, olive production in the Palestinian territories has witnessed a 50-55 per cent drop compared to the same period last year, the Ministry of Agriculture has revealed. The ministry believes the reason for this is the phenomenon of “load sharing” and the hot weather conditions.

There are many olive trees in Gaza, but in each of its attacks, the occupation has razes thousands of acres of land. The latest attack in the summer of 2014 resulted in the razing of almost 1,500 acres of land.

The ministry also noted that Gaza requires 28,000-30,000 tonnes of olives a year; the annual consumption of each individual is about 15 kilogrammes of olives or olive oil. This amount varies depending on the individual’s financial standing.

It predicts that the current season’s total production will be over 13,000 tonnes, especially since the area planted with olives is about 8,500 acres, of which 5,700 acres have borne fruit. Each quarter of an acre produces approximately 570 kilos.

Images by MEMO photographer: Mohammad Asad

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