The wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, is bursting with fresh produce from local farms.
Some boast it’s the best produce in Gaza. Farmers like Abu Riyad smile with pride and satisfaction with all they have accomplished.
Under Anera’s land restoration project to revive Gaza agriculture, Abu Riyad has been able to restore his land and again grow vegetables to feed his family and earn some extra income by selling to the market traders.
Anera’s program, which started in March 2015, already has helped more than 120 Gaza farmers restore farmland damaged in the war or that lay fallow because of the lack of resources to revitalize and replant it.
Khan Younis Farmers Sell Their Produce at the Local Market
Abu Riyad and his son rush to harvest their October crops. As soon as they finish, vendors arrive to load their vans and head to the city market. “It’s Wednesday and that’s what we call Farmers’ Market Day where we can sell our produce at fair prices,” he explains.
Inside the crowded market, fresh cucumbers, green peppers and chili peppers, eggplants and onions glisten in the morning sun, attracting the eye of wholesale food vendors in the early morning rush.
“We are so proud that we can feed our families fresh, natural food and that we can finally see our business bloom like our vegetables,” Abu Riyad says.
Amid the rhythmic sounds of farmers and traders bartering and selling, Abu Riyad explains the day’s routine. “The market is basically an open-air auction place where farmers negotiate with traders and sell their produce.” Then boxes stuffed with fresh vegetables are loaded onto trucks, donkey carts or pushcarts, bound for the town’s food shops.
Abu Riyad says it’s a win-win situation for everyone. “Thanks to the land restoration program, I now can grow fresh produce and sell our vegetables at a fair price to traders who then sell them to buyers at reasonable rates for consumers. Everyone is a winner.”