Gaza (The Inside Palestine)_ Gaza’s red gold season is in full swing, with strawberries being picked and prepared for export and sale, however farmers are still waiting for the necessary approvals to allow the fruit to be sent to Europe.
The fruits are undergoing laboratory tests to ensure quality and require Israeli approval for export.
For farmers, this is another period of unease as during previous seasons strawberries were only allowed to be sold in the West Bank, reducing the value of the crop.
It costs $5,000 to harvest one dunam (0.01 square kilometres) of strawberries and produce three tonnes of the fruit. The process takes five months.
Farmers, including Abdullah Muslim, work the land fearful that crops from Spain and the Netherlands will lead them to suffer a loss at the end of the season.
The head of the Gaza Agricultural Cooperative Society, Ahmed Al-Shafei, confirmed in media statements that if foreign markets are not opened for the export of strawberries, farmers would face a problem in marketing their products in light of the unprecedented recession and stagnation in the local market.
Al-Shafei expects this season to produce a higher quantity of strawberries than the last due to the increase in the area being cultivated.
Source: Middle East Monitor