Date farming has become a major part of the Palestinian economy

The date farming industry has grown from 617 acres back in 2005, to now occupying about ten times that much area.

A drip irrigation farm. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A drip irrigation farm.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Date farming is considered one of the most important sectors of Palestinian agriculture in the West Bank and has become a major part of the Palestinian economy. 
These operations take place on fields of an estimated 6,177 acres and are backed heavily by the Civil Administration. This backing has helped grow the industry to this size from how it was in 2005, when there were only 617 acres of date farms.
The head of the agriculture unit in the Palestinian civil administration, Samir Muadi, said: “We are expecting a harvest of 12,000 tons for this year. Out of that, some 8,000 tons are earmarked for export to Arab countries, Europe and elsewhere, while the remaining 4,000 tons are for the local market."
However, he also mentions that much of the success is from cooperation with local farmers, without which this operation would have been impossible. “The cooperation with the Palestinian farmers is the key to a strong economy, to security, and to stability in the Judea and Samaria region. We advise the farmers all along the way, and we encourage their economic independence. Supporting the Palestinian farmers will remain a top priority for us.”
This is an apparent shift from how things were in previous years. There is testimony of how the PA would have been less likely to assist the average farmer then, despite how it receives a lot of foreign aid, almost more than any other country in the world.