Jerusalem24 – The season for harvesting dates in Jericho and the Jordan Valley region begins at the beginning of September each year, and continues until the end of October, when more than 5,000 Palestinian citizens work in this industry. Dozens of them occupy palm trees, to pick the fruits, then sort them and market them. In recent years, it has had great economic feasibility despite the great challenges, especially the confiscation of lands by the Israeli authorities and the lack of water.
Ibrahim Daiq, head of the Palestinian Dates and Palms Council, said that the season of dates for the current year is considered good, with more than 50% of the product being harvested so far, especially in the Jericho area. While the date fruit harvesting in North Jericho began recently, the expected production this season amounts to 13 thousand tons of various types of dates, which are exported to 26 countries around the world.
Daiq added that Palestinian dates are distinguished and have high specifications and quality, because palm trees are irrigated from artesian wells and springs, unlike dates in settlements, which are irrigated with sewage water, which has placed great demand for Palestinian dates in the global markets.
Daiq explained that the Corona pandemic has impacted the date markets, as it has the rest of the markets. Date traders come with the month of July of every year to buy and reserve their shipments, but this year only 10% of the product has been marketed due to the closures associated with the spread of the pandemic. and with Daiq says that this situation will not affect the farmers much, as the dates are stored in special refrigerators, and its shelf life is up to two years.
The area of land planted with palm trees in Jericho and the Jordan Valley is over 5600 acres, containing 350 thousand trees. This year has witnessed an increase in the product over previous years despite the Israeli policy of land confiscation and the lack of resources, and farmers face a big problem in the shortage of water. A date tree consumes between 70-250 cups of water each year, with an average yield of 70 kg.