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EU supports Gazan farmers with €3.7 million

April 30, 2019 2:08 P.M. (Updated: May 1, 2019 12:31 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The European Union’s (EU) new contribution of €3.7 million to the Palestinian Authority's (PA) "Private Sector Reconstruction Gaza – Agriculture'' program targets 178 additional farmers and agro-businesses in the besieged Gaza Strip affected by the Israeli occupation to re-launch, repair or replace damaged businesses.

According to an EU press release, the program covers a wide range of activities, including the acquisition of agricultural supplies, rehabilitation of land and other small infrastructure works. In particular, the Palestinian Authority will rehabilitate 22 water wells to irrigate about 2,800 dunams (692 acres), supply 15 agricultural tractors, provide 118 livestock farms, including 2,600 heads of livestock, and construct 37 greenhouses units. This brings the total number of beneficiaries of the program until today to 259 farmers.

The Deputy EU Representative, Tomas Niklasson, said ''Agricultural production is a crucial sector of the Palestinian economy. The support to the agricultural sector is essential to build a future Palestinian State with a viable economy. In this context, the EU contributes to programs run by the Palestinian Authority to sustain the livelihoods of people and further strengthen the Palestinian agro-businesses.”

Niklasson stressed, “The Gaza Strip has a strong agricultural potential and the farmers there have suffered from the consequences of multiple conflicts since 2008. This program will allow hundreds of them to restore their agricultural businesses and improve their lives.''

The overall financial envelope of the Private Sector Reconstruction Gaza - Agriculture (PSRG-A) program amounts to €10.5 million and it is expected to serve about 400 eligible beneficiaries in the Gaza Strip.

The program was designed and is managed by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and the Palestinian Agriculture Disaster Risk Reduction and Insurance Fund. The payments are made by the PA's Ministry of Finance and Planning through a network of local banks.

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