farmers in Gaza suffered great losses in light of the Corona pandemic, especially after the crossings stopped exporting their goods to the West Bank, with the difficulty of distributing their products.
Farmers bear many losses annually as a result of their lands and crops being exposed to Israeli targeting during wars, and the Corona pandemic comes and adds new burdens to them.
Farmer Yahya al-Dahdouh, a resident of Gaza, told Ma’an that he suffered great losses to his agricultural crops in light of the Corona pandemic, especially the eggplant, mulukhiya and pepper crops.
He added, “The fall season is approaching, and the most important crops in this season are lettuce, cabbage, zucchini and flower, and currently I prepare the land for planting eggplant.”
He explained that he was very much affected by the Corona pandemic due to the curfew and the prevention of movement and movement, in addition to the transfer of the market to another place and also the continuous power outages that led to the destruction of crops, adding that the farms face difficulties and constant damage, but the Corona epidemic and its repercussions increased more.
He pointed out that every dunum he had, under Corona, amounted to about 3000 shekels, due to the lack of his agricultural crops, eggplant and mallow.
Al-Dahdouh called on the concerned authorities to consider the conditions of farmers who are suffering from an Israeli blockade, and to stop exporting their products to West Bank markets, in addition to the great losses they suffered as a result of the spread of the Corona virus in Gaza.
For his part, Muhammad Abu Odeh, project coordinator in Agricultural Relief, said that the conditions of farmers during this period were between restriction of movement and access to their farms, which greatly affected the irrigation and follow-up of their agricultural crops in light of the curfew and the prevention of movement of citizens.
He explained that the Ministry of Agriculture had developed a plan to contribute to farmers’ access to their farms, irrigation of their crops, harvesting of crops, marketing of their products, and putting them on the market in an attempt to relieve farmers from losing their crops.
“The farmer has been suffering for several years from Israeli wars, previous rounds of escalation, and an Israeli blockade that has been going on for 14 years, in addition to the electricity crisis that has doubled their suffering in irrigating their crops and the climate change that affected crop production,” he added.
On the difficulties facing farmers, he continued: The Corona epidemic and its spread within the community has affected the introduction of agricultural products on the market in light of the continuous closure of markets, curfews, and the inability of farmers to market all products, in addition to the weak purchasing power of citizens.
He pointed out that Agricultural Relief has helped farmers during the period of the Corona pandemic and is still marketing their products, such as guava and grapes, as well as remote counseling campaigns for farmers on how to preserve themselves, in addition to communicating farmers ’voice through local committees to decision-makers to facilitate the problems they encounter.