IDF assists farmers with the first-ever Gaza spice export

In addition to the usual agricultural exports- such as peppers, tomatoes, strawberries and flowers- Gaza farmers are exporting spices for the first time

Date: 23/10/2012, 3:33 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

This morning (October 23st), Gaza farmers successfully completed their inaugural spice export through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Gaza farmers are adding to add spices to a growing list of agricultural exports, which until now has included peppers, a variety of tomatoes, strawberries, and flowers.

The new export is a significant accomplishment for Gaza farmers and merchants, as the average revenue per spice truck is roughly 40,000 NIS, compared with approximately 25,000 NIS per truck of other heavier produce.

The entire project was initiated by the ICLA Gaza (Israeli Cooridnation and Liaison Administration) and coordinated with the Khan Younis Association and the Arava Export Growers as a part of the IDF (Zahal)’s continuous support for agricultural development in the Gaza Strip.

Farmers in Gaza were given tutorials on how to grow spices and were then provided with seedlings from Israel. Special arrangements at the crossing were made to accommodate the needs of the exported spices, including capabilities to perform refrigerated quality and security inspections.

The first export consisted of one truck carrying a ton of densely packed spices. Furthermore, the spice export will continue throughout the season via the Kerem Shalom crossing. Last year agricultural exports from Gaza totaled some 460 tons of strawberry, 160 tons of tomatoes, 58 tons of peppers and 8.8 million units of flowers. The spices will be exported to the European market.