The ongoing economic blockade and loss of land in the Gaza Strip leaves the millions of Palestinians there in a seemingly impossible cycle of poverty and hardship. Vulnerable Palestinian farmers face many challenges beyond their control that exact a heavy toll on their livelihood and income. Given the lack of resources to restore their economic resilience, farmers in the Gaza Strip struggle for relief.
Olive trees are important both economically and culturally for the people of Palestine. Olives are the single biggest crop in the Palestinian economy and are a significant symbol of traditional society, identity and ties to the land.
We started an initiative to help 1000 vulnerable farmers in the Gaza Strip restore their economic resilience through olive tree farming. We provide eligible farmers with training, irrigation networks and several varieties of prime 3-year old olive trees (approximately 1.6-2m tall and already producing fruit).
Each farming family receives 30 – 40 olive trees and an irrigation network plus labour assistance to plant their trees and ongoing support so they can achieve, and sustain, the growing and selling of their olives for profit.
At maturity, which is 5 years old, an olive tree can produce 20 kg of olives. Then, just 6 kilos of olives can yield 1 litre of pure olive oil. Through this initiative, farmers establish a stable source of food and income through the variety of household and consumer uses of olive trees and their products..
When you donate your olive tree with Human Appeal, we don’t simply provide seeds to farmers. We deliver healthy, fruit-bearing trees. To date, Gazan farmers have planted 30,480 olive trees covering 1,016 dunums of land throughout the Gaza Strip. In turn, this project has helped 1,016 farmers and 5,792 people overall.
Your mercy upholds Gaza’s olive traditions and economy
We’re on the ground in hard-to-reach places to identify and serve the needs of vulnerable people. We implement a careful selection criteria before working with Gazan farmers interested in this project. Our rigorous checks and risk assessments are how we find, and qualify, those most in need of mercy.
We’re hands-on when we deliver and administer aid so we can ensure that your mercy gets precisely where it’s intended, exactly as it’s intended. We’re right there with each farmer to ensure the success of every planting. We conduct multiple rounds of testing and evaluation of soil quality to avoid crop failure and our operational expertise gives us a global advantage in using our experienced teams to bring relief where it’s most needed.
We’re careful stewards of your mercy and ensure our operations are efficient, accountable and transparent. We work with expert technical committees to select the best olive trees at nurseries and in consultation with local authorities regarding the olive trees and the soil quality.
We also safeguard the vulnerable communities we support with rigorous protection policies and procedures.
We are innovative so that your mercy improves lives for generations to come. We facilitate the training, planting, care and harvest of olive trees that will thrive in Gaza’s soil. Human Appeal ensures that your mercy brings immediate relief and lasts for the long term to break the cycle of poverty.
You’ve entrusted us with your donation so that we can make the most of your mercy. Let’s hear from Fadi, Human Appeal Project Officer on how your mercy helps to plant seeds of hope through our olive tree project in Gaza.
I am a Programme Officer and have been with Human Appeal since December 2022. For the olive trees project we follow a selection criteria for choosing farmers according to the size of the family, total income, land size and the salination level in the soil.
Olives are a symbol of resilience for the Palestinian people. Planting olive trees makes a big difference because it resists the soil salination and has the power to resist poor soil conditions. It offers economic value with a few products (olives and oil extraction for example ).
The life of a tree is more than 20 years. So far we have planted 30,480 trees on 1016 dunums. This is an 8-month project; during which all farmers are trained in olive tree care. We expect each dunum to produce 180 litres of oil.
Olive trees are important and the most popular tree. They can be planted in many kinds of soil. We help families by training them to take care of the trees and harvesting them at the most suitable time. Before planting, we conduct many soil tests to assess the salination level, check for pests, and any diseases in the soil before starting the planting process. If we didn’t conduct these tests, the crop might fail because the olives might face high level of salination. These kinds of agricultural projects require soil testing to assess the suitability of the land for the proposed project.
This project enhances the resilience of Palestinian farmers as it provides economic power for farmers to compete in the vegetable market. We give them support after the project’s implementation to assure the continued market value of the crop.
We ensure value for money in the project by continuous evaluation and monitoring to align with best practices and improve any future implementation of this project.
“Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.”Source - Tirmidhi
I am farmer Salwa Ahmad Ibrahim Abu Said, from Wadi Salqa; I have a family of 10 people.
Farmers in Gaza suffer from many things and colonization is a huge problem for us. Sometimes our lands are confiscated, and other times they spray insecticides to kill the soil.
We are the most vulnerable in the country. We need help and the chemicals can be too expensive. The harvested fruits sometimes don’t sell for a good price and sometimes it is not even worth the cost of the pesticides.
This is the source of income we rely on mainly, and sometimes we rely on farming chickens. We breed goats and plant trees.
The association told us about the olive trees project. We thought it could be good for us and decided to plant it along with the other crops. We registered for the olive trees project with Human Appeal, and they delivered olive trees and hoses too.
We watered the trees with the hoses, and the olive trees are still young. In sha Allah in the future we will harvest olives.
Olive trees require 3 years after the planting before they can be harvested. The olive trees project can be a future a source of income.
Olives, as they say, are the basis of every home; they are the soul of the home. Regardless if it was olives or olive oil nobody could live without it. Even if there was no olive oil at home, I can buy it.
The olive tree is a blessed tree; it has a special place in our hearts. I can say I love it most; it is the most beloved tree among all trees.
We love this project. They say this is a lifelong tree. For us it is a source of income and when it grows it will secure our food. It has many uses.
These trees provided about 3 gallons of oil this year.
We harvest these trees in autumn every year, and the olive tree is known to live forever; it has no expiry date. Olive trees get planted everywhere. If the farmer wants to plant vegetables or anything else, he surrounds the land with olive trees so he could have olive trees and seasonal planting.
We are all neighbors here; we all plant olive trees. Even if the piece of land is very small, you will find that the owner has planted some olive trees. Because they depend on olive oil for food and income. If a farmer has two hectares, he would rather plant olive trees for a source of income and to also to use some of it at home. He can sell the olives and olive oil if he has extra.
We thank everyone who participated in this project, and those who helped us.
The project is successful and alhamdulilah we were able to benefit from it.