Cucumbers, eggplants and tomatoes, oh my! Palestinian greenhouse farmers in Gaza grow bountiful harvests with hard work and training.
Palestinian Farmers in Gaza Learn Best Practices for Greenhouse Agriculture
Thirty farmers in southern Gaza recently participated in a three-day agriculture training on best practices for greenhouse agriculture. Anera organized the training for the Khan Younis farmers to ensure that they can make the most of their new Anera-built greenhouses and grow a variety of crops.
One of the attendees, Fadi, 31, is a father of three. He has a bachelor's degree in primary education but was unable to find steady work as an educator in Gaza. So he fell back on the one opportunity available. "I went to work with my father on his land and learned how to grow olives and citrus fruits," Fadi says.
Fadi says his new greenhouse will mean food security for his family. "It's my first time to have my own land to farm. It means I won’t have to worry about how to cover my family's needs every day."
For now, he will focus on growing tomatoes but plans to expand to additional crops down the line. It may not have been his chosen profession but Fadi has embraced farming. "Being a farmer helps me to see the positive side of life," he says.
Cucumbers, Eggplants & Tomatoes, Oh My! Two Gaza Farming Families' Bountiful Harvests
Wael, 28, is also at the training. He is a born farmer. For him, farming is not just a living but a passion. "Agriculture is my whole life. I can't live without working the land and growing crops," he says.
"My father is a farmer. He taught me everything he knows about agriculture," Wael says.
Wael is recently married, his father is getting older, and he is the eldest son, so he feels the burden of responsibility to provide for his family. As the economy has worsened, Wael had to go to work for other farmers.
Drawing upon his experience and applying what he has learned in Anera's training, Wael is growing cucumbers in his new greenhouse.
"Having a greenhouse and growing produce in it means I can look forward to the future with happiness," says Wael.