Palestinian Farmers Cut Off from the Market
A farmer’s livelihood depends on being able to get produce to the market. In the West Bank and Gaza, though, Palestinian farmers face major farm-to-market challenges. From poor roads and storage facilities to tough export restrictions, produce from Palestinian farms can go bad before ever reaching a consumer.
A recent damage assessment showed that more than 30% of Gaza’s existing roads were destroyed or damaged during the most recent war. However, the roads in Gaza had been in poor shape even before the bombs fell. Restrictions on construction materials passing through Gaza’s borders make repairing and building roads a persistent challenge.
Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, and especially in Gaza, also have few options for exporting produce outside of their territories. They often have to sell within their borders. Proper storage facilities can alleviate this problem by keeping produce fresh and profitable for a longer period.
Helping Palestinian Farmers Sell Produce
During the past decade, Anera has constructed more than 60 miles of farm-to-market access roads throughout Palestine. In Gaza, staff repaired and connected six miles of farm access roads in rural areas that suffered major damage from bombings in 2014.
Anera roads reach deep into farming communities to help farmers transport livestock and produce more easily and quickly. The roads not only revitalize Palestinian agriculture and farmers’ livelihoods, but they also create vital connections between villages and villagers.
Farmers need a place to store and sell their fresh produce. To make that happen, Anera has constructed many wholesale markets across Palestine – from Halhoul in the southern West Bank to Tulkarem in the north. Most recently, Anera built a new facility in the Abasan Al-Kabira area of Khan Younis, Gaza.
The original market in Abasan was located in the main business district and could not handle the large number of buyers and sellers who came daily to and from the facility. Traffic jams and detours regularly caused problems for residents. Like Anera’s other wholesale markets, the new Abasan facility is in an easily accessible location, complete with parking and loading docks, which help commerce flow freely.