Gaza farmers stop exporting due to crippling conditions of occupation

Farmers in the Gaza Strip announced this morning, Wednesday, that they would stop exporting their agricultural products due to the impossible conditions of the occupation.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza, after a closure that lasted for nearly 45 days, during which the occupation prevented the transfer of any of the sector’s products to foreign markets, the marketing and partial export of limited types of agricultural products resumed yesterday through the “Karm Abu Salem” crossing, where they were marketed today. The first - 110 tons of vegetables, including 30 tons of tomatoes, after follow-up and supervision by the technical staff of the ministry on the sorting and packaging of agricultural exports, to ensure that all procedures and specifications related to the quality of export crops are free from diseases and pests.

The farmers were surprised by the impossible conditions imposed by the occupation in front of the Gaza Strip producers, as vegetable farmers face a major dilemma represented in the occupation’s requirement that the tomatoes that will be transported to the West Bank market be unrepressed “the neck of the fruit.”

The farmers considered that this is an impossible condition that cannot be applied, and causes them great damage in terms of raising the costs of removing the “neck of the fruit”, in addition to the rapid damage of these vegetables due to the removal of the green cover from the weakest part of it, and the presence of the neck is desirable for the consumer and that many foreign markets You want the tomatoes to be in the form of cuts or bunches, as in some varieties.

The farmers made an urgent appeal to human rights and international institutions and all parties concerned with the agricultural sector, to pressure the occupation to open the “Karm Abu Salem” crossing in order for their products to exit naturally to market and export agricultural products from Gaza to the West Bank and abroad, and not to put obstacles and impossible conditions in front of them.

The Gaza farmers incurred heavy financial losses as a result of the closure of the crossing and preventing the transfer of agricultural products from Gaza to foreign markets.

The Ministry of Agriculture expressed its total rejection of the new obstacles and requirements of the occupation, represented in changing the criteria for marketing some agricultural products through the “Karm Abu Salem” crossing.

The ministry had warned that the food basket of the residents of the Gaza Strip is approaching the edge of danger, as a result of the farmers suffering heavy losses and their reluctance to farm, due to the occupation’s closure of the “Karm Abu Salem” crossing.


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