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Palestine PDF Print E-mail

The Palestinian agricultural sector demonstrates the following comparative advantages that give it a prominence in the Palestinian de facto situation under the Israeli occupation.

1) Maintaining and reproducing of the Palestinian steadfastness and existence: 
The various statistical data indicated that this sector plays a very crucial role in ensuring job opportunities and employments. The agriculture’s contribution to employment has risen from 12.7% in 1995 up to 16% in 2004. In addition, agriculture has guaranteed work for more than 39% of those who work in informal sectors. In 2004 more than 17% of Palestinian families relied on subsistence farming to survive.

2) Playing a vital role in the success of other economic sectors: 
Agriculture in Palestine is considered a source of sustainability of many Palestinian industries such as food, fodders, leather, shoes, soap, furniture, cosmetics and tourist industry. Agricultural produce constitute essential inputs to all of the aforementioned industries which indicate that this sector is a central productive focal point in the Palestinian economy.

3) Maintaining agricultural know-how and proficiency: 
Palestinians have quite good knowledge of agricultural practices and technologies. Rural areas reflect cultural, social and agricultural accumulated awareness. These facts enable the agricultural sector to absorb the external pressures and challenges faced by the Palestinian people.

4) A climate that promotes diverse crops:
In Palestine, quite a big number of crop varieties are produced nearly around the year. Some of these varieties have a competitive advantage such as dates, which is grown in limited amounts throughout the world.

5) A tradition of great economic strength:
Historically, Palestinian agriculture comprised the lion's share of the economy. During the seventies its contribution reached nearly 50% of GDP. However, there was a huge decline in 2004 when it dipped to 10.8% of the GDP, which was the average percentage of agriculture during the past four years. It is worth noting that the systematic policies of the Israeli occupation authorities aimed at the destruction of Palestinian agriculture, in addition to the lack of budgetary support from the Palestinian Authority were the root causes of this deterioration in the agricultural sector.

6) Deep connections to all of Palestinian society: 
The Palestinian agricultural sector is central to 88% of Palestine's cities, towns and villages. Nearly 60% of Palestinians live in the rural areas. Moreover, this sector introduces the strongest foundation for developing the status and role of the Palestinian women as statistics indicated that almost 90% of the women in informal economy work in agriculture. And rural women form 30% of the Palestinian women power



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