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Strawberry Fields for Peace

Project Aim

This cross-border peacebuliding project provided capacity building support and advanced training to Palestinian agriculturalists in order to enhance local strawberry production while fostering Palestinian-Israeli cooperation. The project served to strengthen trade ties between the Israeli and Palestinian private sectors and assisted in building Palestinian infrastructure and economic and agricultural capabilities.

How It Works

The project began originally in Gaza to introduce the lucrative strawberry crop to Palestinian farmers. In 2009 the project was expanded to the West Bank city of Qalqilya. During the first year, five demonstration strawberry farms were established in Qalqilya, and Israeli experts shared technical knowledge of best practices for soil preparation and strawberry cultivation with the Palestinian farmers. Following a fruitful outcome in the space of a year, activities continued in Qalqilya and were expanded to the West Bank cities of Jenin/Qabatiya and Auja, where additional demonstration farms were established. In the framework of the project, informational training sessions were also held in the West Bank and in Israel. At one such session held in January 2011, 120 Palestinian farmers from Qalqiliya, Jenin/Qabatiya and Auja attended a workshop at the Peres Peace House on best practices for strawberry cultivation, proper handling methods, and treatment of strawberry diseases, followed by a visit to a packing house in Kalansawa. This workshop was undoubtedly the largest gathering of Palestinian professionals in Israel in a long time. The project concluded in June 2011 with a total yield of approximately 70 tons of strawberries produced throughout its duration. This project has not only provided Palestinians with the means to increase their economic productivity, but it has also generated cross-border communication and cooperation, benefitting both Palestinians and Israelis alike. The project was funded by the Flemish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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The Peres Center For Peace
132 Kedem St., Tel Aviv-Jaffa,
68066 Israel


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