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Israel’s land leveling contributes deficit to Gaza olive production ‎for 2013
Gaza farmer collecting olive
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Gaza, ALRAY - Ministry of Agriculture expected 10.000 tons of olives to be produced in the 2013 olive harvest season in Gaza which will begin on 1st of October.

Deputy Director General of Guidance Department at the ministry Fathi Abu Shamala said Tuesday that “the total land areas planted with olive trees amount to 36500 dunums (36500.000 square meter), with 21.500 dunums productive, and 15.000 non-productive for being newly-planted,”

“The coming season's production will see a deficit by 60 %, which is bigger than the 2012 season's,” he said.

Abu Shamala explained that “the Israeli leveling of some 20.000 dunums of land areas planted with half a million trees during the last few years created a decline in olive production,” adding that “decline production can be traced as well to trees’ natural capacity,”

On the possibility of exporting or importing olive oil, Abu Shamala said “we will assess the total produce of olive and then determine whether to import from the West Bank,”

He predicted that “the Gaza Strip would achieve self-sufficiency in olive oil over the next few years, especially since large land areas with growing trees have not yet to be productive."