The Palestinian Authority is on track to produce a surplus of fresh and chilled fruits and vegetables by the end of the year, according to officials.
The Palestinian Department of Agriculture announced Monday that it had received a total of 1,300 tons of fresh produce and vegetables, a number which is higher than the 2,700 tons that were expected last year.
“We have reached the peak of the season and we will not let the harvest run out,” Agriculture Minister Fathi al-Makhlouf said in a televised address.
“The harvest is not complete yet, but we will reach it soon.”
Makhmouf noted that a number of key measures have been implemented to support the harvest, including the establishment of two warehouses in the West Bank and the establishment on all sides of the Jordan River of fruit trees that are to be harvested and planted to make room for fresh vegetables.
The fruit trees will be used to create seedlings and seeds for planting next year, he said.
The department has been working closely with the Agriculture Ministry and the Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) to improve production, Makhmoufsaid.
“We are looking to increase the number of fruits and other vegetables, which will give us a surplus, and we are looking for ways to increase production.”
Muhannad Aboul-Rahman, the chief of the Palestinian Agricultural Department, told Al Jazeera that the surplus would be sold to businesses and households.
“I don’t think it will be enough for everyone,” he said, noting that most of the fruit will be sold as food.
“It is good for those who are going to be farmers in the future, who will have fruit trees.”
The government has set a target to reach 90 percent of the target, which it said would help farmers increase their yields.
The surplus is expected to allow farmers to increase yields by 10 percent in the coming years, according TOI.