Human Appeal, an international NGO, is supporting a project to plant 25,000 olive trees in Palestinian farmlands, following recent disruption to the region’s olive tree farm industry.
The olive tree project is supported by Human Appeal France, the Palestinian Hydrological Group (PHG) and Zakat Al Quds, a Palestinian charitable foundation. In total, the project will assist in the cultivation of 200 dunums (or 200,000 square metres) of land across the West Bank, directly supporting the incomes of nearly 200 farmers and 1,200 individuals.
Olive farms in Jerusalem, Tubas, Salfit, Bethlehem, Hebron and Tulkarem will benefit from the project and receive the support of experts from Human Appeal France, Zakat Al Quds charity, the PHG and the Salfit Agriculture directorate as well as local village councils.
The olive tree project assists the Palestinian National Olive strategy in achieving its goal to plant an additional 50,000 olive trees in Palestine over five years. With olive seedlings bearing fruit after one year of plantation, the project will have a positive impact on local livelihoods for many years to come. Once harvested, the initial plantation is expected to yield around 4,000kg of olive oil.
“When seeking to provide urgently needed support it is vital that we also consider providing long-term support to help the population to help themselves. Planting these olive saplings is more than securing land for agriculture and supplying a crop which will help these recipients to support themselves into the future, it is also an important symbol of regrowth for the region.” said Mohamad Yousef, Head of Human Appeal France.
The olive oil industry makes up 25% of the agricultural income for Palestinians and supports the livelihoods of approximately 100,000 families. Since olive trees are native, typically rainfed, and tolerant to difficult weather, high salty water and poor soil conditions, they are considered the best adoptive measure given the deteriorated water situation in the West Bank.
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