On 16 November 2020, the Palestinian Centre for Research and Agricultural Development (PCARD) and the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) launched the first of many activities aimed at improving production and trade in key agricultural sectors. The workshop took place in Nahalal, Israel as part of the project ‘Israelis Meet Palestinians in Agriculture and Cross-border Trade’ funded by the European Union under its EU Peacebuilding Initiative.
The 3-year project will bring together agricultural workers, farmers, agronomists, the business sector, students and many other stakeholders to improve the production quality and quantity in key Palestinian and Israeli agricultural sectors - dates, almonds, herbs, honey, olive oil, vegetable and grapes. A number of agricultural communities on both sides will benefit from improved trade capacity. Ultimately, the project will promote and facilitate cross-border trade, by establishing trade contacts, organising exhibitions, trainings and field visits in the priority agricultural-trade sectors.
PCARD Director, Eng. Salah A. Eisheh said: ‘The project targets seven strategic agricultural sectors in Palestine and Israel, namely dates, vegetables, medical herbs, grapes, almonds, honey and olives. The aim is to strengthen economic and technical cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis, and to create commercial relations locally and internationally to the benefit of the targeted sectors.’
GIMI President, Dr. Joseph Shevel said: ‘This is a very good opportunity to make the positive change that we are looking to see for both Palestinians and Israelis. GIMI will work with PCARD to upgrade the trade experience, enhance the marketing knowledge and improve the quality and quantity of agriculture products for all participants in the project. I devote many thanks to the European Union for supporting this initiative.’
EU Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret said: ‘Cross border cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians that benefits the lives and livelihoods of real people is an EU priority. We must not forget the road to peace always involves keeping dialogue and channels open, as well as building mutual trust. This is one of the building blocks that can help support a political solution to the conflict’.
This project is funded by the EU Peacebuilding Initiative, which aims to support and promote the conditions for a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict through civil society projects and citizens' positive engagement. The programme is divided into two parts, which: 1. aim to promote conditions for a negotiated settlement of the conflict via participatory civil engagement, and via enhanced mutual understanding, confidence and trust; 2. contribute to peacebuilding through joint work supporting socio-economic development and strategic cooperation.
Photo Janine Golan / the Galilee Institute.