Nablus, West Bank (November 7, 2012) — Modern irrigation technologies, which have enabled farmers in Israel to manage water scarcity and become more competitive in the marketplace, have been beyond the financial and technical reach of most Palestinian farmers – until now.
Olive farmers in the West Bank have increased productivity by 280% and profits by 180% while participating in a Near East Foundation (NEF) initiative to introduce drip irrigation that is also helping address water scarcity in the area.
Over the past two years, NEF and local farmers have partnered to experiment with low-dosage irrigation in traditional olive groves. NEF provides participating farmers with training, technical support and equipment.
The resulting, significant increases in production and income were made possible by only three cubic meters of water per tree, applied in two installments per year, in combination with targeted fertilization and pest control.
Poor irrigation and water scarcity are among the primary reasons that the olive sector lags in the West Bank, in spite of its economic importance.
The NEF irrigation initiative is helping to revolutionize olive production in the Palestinian Territories by both introducing new irrigation technologies and identifying alternative water resources – such as wastewater.
A total of 1,400 farmers will receive support in the three-year initiative, which is scheduled to conclude in 2014. Funding is provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
For more information visit the Olive Oil Without Borders website, www.oowithoutborders.org.
The Near East Foundation is a U.S.-based international development NGO leading innovative social and economic change in the Middle East and Africa for almost 100 years. Founded in 1915, NEF helps build more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive communities through education, governance and economic development initiatives. NEF field staff – all of them from the countries in which they work – partner with local organizations to implement grassroots solutions and to empower citizens through “knowledge, voice, and enterprise.” To learn more visit www.neareast.org.
This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through theUnited States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the Near East Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.