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Gaza kicks off date season

Palestinian farmers pick dates from a date farm in Gaza, on 1 October 2020

Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture yesterday celebrated the beginning of the date harvest season with a ceremony held at a palm farm in the city of Deir Al-Balah in the centre of the enclave, Anadolu reported.

Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, Ibrahim Al-Qudra, told Anadolu that date production is expected to decrease this year to nearly 9,000 tonnes, down from 12,000 tonnes last year, due to varying weather conditions as well as the lockdowns imposed to curb the coronavirus which prevented farmers from reaching their land.

According to the Palestinian official, 500 tonnes of dates will be sold in the occupied West Bank.

According to Al-Qudra, last year, the ministry prevented dates being imported from abroad to boost demand for the local market and the manufacture of various products from it, such as molasses.

“We are working to support the palm trees and their products and to encourage the local manufacturing industry based on it. We hope in the coming years we are able to continue supporting farmers in order to reach self-sufficiency,” he added.

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