Not only has the Israeli-Palestinian conflict taken a toll on mobility in Palestine, it has often physically separated Palestinian farmers and farmlands from one another.
As Palestinian communities remain fragmented by military checkpoints, Israeli settlements and a 420-mile separation wall, farmers in Palestine have often found themselves isolated and out of touch with the latest developments and technologies in agriculture.
Given the scarcity of land, water and financial resources, the Palestinian agricultural community benefits a great deal from sharing knowledge and lessons learned with each other.
Connecting Farmers in Palestine
Knowledge and resource sharing across farming communities is fundamental to all of Anera’s agriculture programming. For over five decades Anera has worked with agricultural cooperatives in Palestine, providing loans, equipment, training and other vital support.
Through these local agricultural cooperatives, Palestinian farmers have the opportunity to share equipment, monitor the use of scarce resources, like water, and learn good farming practices from each other.
In 2016, Anera helped Palestinian farmers establish the very first farmers’ cooperative focusing on wastewater irrigation in the Jenin area of the West Bank. To assist the growing membership in best use of treated wastewater, Anera provided training and brought together farmers to talk about best practices. The cooperative continues its business and treated wastewater has transformed farming practices in the area.
In 2012-14, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Anera embarked on a unique program that introduced basic knowledge-sharing tools to keep farmers across the West Bank and Gaza connected and up to date. The program produced a series of short films documenting the best farming practices, a feature-length documentary, two first-of-a-kind farmers’ conferences, and pages on social media for sharing materials and ideas.