Supporting the Livelihoods of Farmers in Gaza

Empowering marginalised communities to become more self-sufficient and food secure.

In Gaza, Palestinian refugees face a socioeconomic crisis greater than ever before. With a total population of 1.9 million, 72% of Palestinians living in Gaza are registered as refugees. The most recent figures from United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (OCHA) show that unemployment levels have risen to 53.7% in the second half of 2018.  This is a direct consequence of the restricted movement of people and goods imposed on Gaza by the Israeli blockade, which has entered its twelfth year in 2018. As a result of this farmers, traders and businessmen are unable to get their goods to markets and hundreds of businesses have closed as a result. Much agricultural land, including greenhouses, irrigation infrastructure and fields were badly damaged during the Israeli assault of 2014. The agricultural sector is crucial to Palestine, contributing significantly to income, exports, food security and job creation. 

31.5% of Gaza households are food insecure and 53.7% of refugees in Gaza are unemployed

WA has just started a new project in Gaza working with 45 farmers, so they can rehabilitate their land, it will provide them with equipment to clear and plough the land, seeds and irrigation materials and will help the farmers to market their goods. The project will also provide work for at least 25 unemployed labourers, through 1,170 working days. 90 dunums [1 dunum=1000m sq.] of open field will be planted with vegetables and fruit trees. This project comes in the wake of two other similar projects recently implemented by WA.

WA has already completed two projects supporting farmers in different parts of Gaza this year:

66 farmers were supported in Khan Younis and surrounding areas

Farmers were helped to clear and plough 127 dunums of damaged land, install irrigation networks, and then to plant, grow and harvest their crops.

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  • Farmers were provided with technical advice on crop types to best suit the soil, environmentally friendly methods of pest management, and quantities of water required to maximise the quality and quantity of the yield.
  • Final yield delivered over 300 tons of crops including aubergines, potatoes, peppers, courgettes, etc.
  • Farmers were helped to market their crops, some of which were bought for our Ramadan food distribution project. Watch the video here. From the income that was generated, famers could buy seedlings to replant for the upcoming season, as well as use the income to support their families.
  • 59 Unemployed labourers were also provided 1,100 working days.

175 farmers were supported in Rafah

Farmers were helped to clear the land, plough it, plant crops and install irrigation pipes, returning 300 dunums of land to productivity.

  • 45 damaged greenhouses were repaired.
  • 9000 fruit trees and more than 450,000 vegetable seedlings were planted.
  • 175 farmers were able to return to planting their lands, harvesting and selling their crops and securing a regular income for their families. 1,218 family members benefited as a result of the project.
  • 4,340 working days were created for 192 unemployed workers (a total of 3,800 days of work to clear, plough and plant the fields for 160 labourers, and 800 days repairing greenhouses and planting the crops in them for 32 labourers).
  • The crops yielded 2,050 tonnes of a range of vegetables, which sold for approximately US$1.1 million This also helped to improve the quantity of crops available for families locally at affordable prices,
  • All farmers replanted their lands for the next season increasing their self-sufficiency
  • Ongoing professional technical advice and mentoring on best farm practices, ideal quantities of water per crop, ways to minimise effects of the electricity crisis and environmentally friendly pest control, all of which helped maximise crop quality and quantity. 


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See Also

Nadine's Story

Helping marginalised families cultivate their unused land to become food secure

Read more > Nadine's Story

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