The damage inflicted on the agricultural sector because of the 8-year blockade on Gaza and the Israeli offensives during that period has been massive. This factsheet sheds the light on the current status of the agricultural sector and how it has been performing one year after the last war in Gaza.
Facts about the agricultural sector:
- The Israeli occupation’s blockade of the Gaza Strip caused 60% decrease in Gross Domestic Production (GDP).
- The Israeli occupation’s blockade affected the export, agricultural and industrial sectors; resulting in the reduction of the agricultural sector by 35% .
- An area of up to 11,164,664 square meters of the agricultural land has been destroyed.
- 57 square kilometers of agricultural land in the Gaza Strip; which is about 29% of the Gaza Strip agricultural land, were destroyed.
- The agricultural sector of the Gaza Strip suffered losses and damages exceeded $550 million.
- Livestock losses amounted to $70.8 million whereas the losses caused of soil and water supplies damages mounted $68.2 million. Moreover, fisheries losses amounted to $ 10 million; whereas the stored crops losses amounted to $ 16.1 million.
- About 132 wells were destroyed, 111 wells were completely destroyed.
- More than 15 thousand linear meters of main water pipes were destroyed.
- Two water desalination stations, two water treatment plants and 2 wastewater treatment plants were destroyed.
- only 6 nautical miles out of 20 nautical miles fishing zone is accessible
- 58 fishermen were arrested in 2014 by the Israeli occupation navy in the area allowed for fishing.
- The Israeli occupation’s navy confiscated about 27 fishing boats and damaged 7 other fishing boats in 2014, within the 6 nautical miles area allowed for fishing.
Vision of the Agricultural Sector on the Development and Reconstruction Process in the Gaza Strip.
- Efforts should be intensified and pressure mechanisms should be developed to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow freedom of goods and individuals as well as the introduction of the necessary construction materials; moreover, all forms of attacks against the Palestinian farmers should be stopped. Border and marine buffer zone should be abolished and both farmers should be enabled to access their farming lands and fishermen should be enabled to access the allowed area for fishing.
- Exert pressure on the parties of the internal division to achieve reconciliation and unify ministries and associations of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and formulate a joint development plan to achieve complementary between the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
- Stop the deterioration of the agricultural sector by developing effective plans in partnership with all relevant parties including the Ministry of Agriculture, international organizations, NGOs and Grass Roots organizations.
- Pressure on donors to fulfill their obligations pledged for the reconstruction of Gaza in Cairo conference on Palestine “Reconstructing Gaza” on October 12, 2014.
- Continue implementation of emergency and medium-term projects within long-term development project to achieve food security and continuity within approach “Development for Steadfastness”.
- Support replacement of imported goods with local products on condition of commitment to markets fair policies and monopoly.
- Supply the agricultural lands with irrigation networks and maintain the irrigation networks that were destroyed during the last summer’s offensive as well as reconstruct the water wells and ponds as well as water treatment plants that were shelled and destroyed.
- Develop national plans to maintain the environment quality in the Gaza Strip.
- Encourage and develop wastewater treatment and its reuse to irrigate crops.
- Provide the agriculture production requirements and government support at concessional rates to encourage the farmers to return to their lands and continue crops production.
- Continue supporting projects such as land reclamation, maintain the greenhouses, home gardens and livestock projects.
- Implement programs such as fishing boats maintenance and provide fishermen with fishing tools, to enhance fishermen’s steadfastness.
- Strengthen coordination and cooperation between the Palestinian NGOs and international NGOs for efficient use of resources.