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California State University Northridge (CSUN) 1996

The geography of food crops in the Gaza Strip

Clancy, William Sean Michael

Titre : The geography of food crops in the Gaza Strip

Auteur : Clancy, William Sean Michael

Université de soutenance : California State University Northridge (CSUN)

Grade : Master of Arts (MA) 1996

The area which is known as the Gaza Strip has had a long history of agricultural development, and continues to show potential for a strong but specialized farming sector in its local economy. The enclave’s climate, poor groundwater supply, and a lack of adequate cultivable soil, present severe constraints to any future agricultural re-development. Historically, farming has been a traditional livelihood for a significant proportion of the area’s population. Since the 1940s and particularly since the Israeli occupation which began in the late 1960s, the amount of Gazans working in farming has dropped steadily. Conversely, the amount of Gazans seeking wage labor in Israel has increased. The nature of farming itself in Gaza has also changed as orchard fruit production and cultivated area (primarily citrus) has decreased, while irrigated vegetable production and cultivated area has increased. Since the granting of limited self rule in 1994, and with generous international financial assistance, the young Palestinian Authority has been given the challenge to revitalize the economy and infrastructure of the Gaza Strip. Those who are planning for Gaza’s economic future should consider "re-orienting" the area’s fundamental approach to agriculture. In order for agriculture to survive in the enclave, local environmental constraints will need to be reckoned with, ideally by adopting some combination of land reform and water-wise farming methods. Any solutions to Gaza’s agricultural problems should aim both to ensure that a local agricultural sector is sustainable, and also link the local economy into the greater regional economy which is developing out of the Middle East peace process.


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