This project will involve several sectors of the
Palestinian society: producers, to improve the "competition" on the market;
traders, to offer a new kind of products; consumers, as regards their health.
But the most important beneficiary will be the agricultural "world", in order
to assure to farmers, choosing organic farming, a best income generation.
The project will be mostly located in pluvial areas,
because in these areas is concentrated the majority of poor farmers, owing to
the scarce productivity of land, the difficulties in obtaining credits and the
lack of resources to be invested in inputs for agriculture. The second
priority will be the Gaza and Jericho regions, where small-scale producers are
concentrated. Organic farming will improve soil fertility and renewable
resources, through absence of chemical inputs.
A special attention will be devoted to women, who will be
encouraged to cultivate domestic orchards, in order to improve food quality
and to assure an income generation. Training will be organized in groups, 20
people each, and 50% will be women. The selection of beneficiaries will be
based on economic and social criteria, following PARC experience in the last
years: first of all, the ownership of the land (with priority to farmers who
base their income generation on farming). This project was discussed with
farmers' representatives, following the PARC Strategic plan on Agriculture
(1998/2001), and answering to several consumers "point out" about food quality
The overall objective of the Project is the introduction in
Palestine of the production of organic farming products, obtained through the
improvement, development and organisation of organic farming techniques in the
area. In addition, the Project aims to "open" the local and international
market of this kind of products. The Project will promote a close link with
Italian "structures" involved in organic farming production and trade. An
added value of the project will be the "struggle" against rural unemployment,
soil erosion, and desertification.
The process will follow these immediate objectives:
- To protect and improve soil fertility in the long term;
- To implement renewable farming systems based on local resources;
- To promote the creation of Farmers Associations of organic farming;
- To promote the breeding of local races;
- To preserve genetic variation in the farming system;
- To "open" an organic farming products market, domestic and
- To promote the adoption of a regulation on organic farming in the
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROJECT
The Project will implement an integrated structure in order to deal with
every subject related to organic farming, from land recon version to
production and trade:
- Implementation of three pilot farms (where training courses will be
- Extensionists and "key" farmers (women and men) training; follow up and
selection of the trained for local upgrading.
- Definition of a Statute and a Mission for the Organic Farming Producers
- Standards of certification for organic farming and social legislation.
- Products marketing and consumers.
- Institutional support.
a) Implementation of three pilot farms (where training courses will
be located). The Project foresees the implementation of three pilot stations
(farms) of organic farming, to be used as location for the training courses
(on the job training). The stations will be in Jericho, Falamiah and Gaza.
Land will be the contribution of farmers to the Project (for a period of ten
years), together with the needed water for irrigation. The farms will be
equipped with nurseries and greenhouses. In the farms, in addition to the
training courses, compost production will be implemented.
b) Extensionists and "key" farmers (women and men) training; follow
up and selection of the trained for local upgrading. Workshops and training
courses will be implemented as follows: Organisation and implementation of two
different trainings: one for the extensionists (agronomists) and one for "key"
farmers (women and men), on the following subjects: a) soil preparation for
the re-conversion of farms to organic farming; b) production of compost and
other natural fertilizers; c) choice of the best seeds; d) research and
specification of plant diseases in Palestine; e) preparation of natural
remedies; f) biologic "fight"; g) re-conversion of breeding techniques.
As regards the beneficiaries, farmers, PARC extensionists, other NGOs
extensionists and farmers association members, will be selected for the
courses. The project will cooperate with Research Centres and Institutions
based in countries where the organic farming is still developed. Experts will
assure consulting on product preservation, packaging, marketing, definition of
the standards for product certification, environmental protection,
re-conversion to organic farming.
c) Definition of a Statute and a Mission for the Organic Farming
Producers Committee. The Project foresees the creation of an Organic
Farming Producers Committee in order to improve the spread and the knowledge
of this farming system. This Association (100 members at least) will define a
"mission" and a working program. The Committee will also supply the necessary
services for the certification of organic farming production. During the
period of re-conversion from traditional farming to organic farming, farmers
will lose their income; so the project foresees to support them through "in
cash" subsidies (100 farmers, with 5 dunums of land each. The subsidy will be
Lit. 260.000 for each dunum, for a total of Lit. 130.000.000).
d) Standards of certification for organic farming and social
legislation. The Project will create a Committee (composed by PARC and the
Ministry of Agriculture), in order to assess the international standards to be
applied to Palestinian production, following the European Union and the IFOAM
standards. This will allow the marketing (export) of products. Once settled
the standards, a Certification Committee will manage the official
certification of the organic farming production.
e) Products marketing and consumers. The Project will: § implement
several information campaigns for the consumers, through brochures and TV
advertising, in order to promote the purchase of organic farming production. §
Involve "key elements" of the Palestinian society (social, political and
economic) in supporting organic farming. § Organise and equip three
market/shops for organic farming, in order to sell the production and spread
the knowledge about it. These shops (about 200 square meters each) will be
rented in Nablus, Betlemme e Ramallah.
f) Institutional support. A supporting Committee (1.500 people and
20 farmers associations and NGOs) will be created. The Committee will play an
essential role in convincing farmers and consumers of the importance of
organic farming. In addition the committee will "lobby" for the issuing of
regulations on organic farming and production marketing.
- 3 training courses (one each year) implemented and 60 extensionists, (Parc
and others NGO's) trained.
- 15 training courses (3 each six months) implemented. 300 farmers, men
and women, trained.
- A farmers Committee (minimum 100 farmers) installed.
- Three pilot farms (Falamiah, Jericho and Gaza, with a minimum extension
of 1.5 ha. Each) installed and operating.
- Three shops (+/- 200 mq) in Ramallah, Betlemme and Nablus financed by
the selling of products opened and functioning; domestic and international
trade of organic farming products operating.
- Quality certification for products (international standards);
- A Supporting Committee for the introduction of organic farming
- 100 farms reconverted to organic farming.
- A research on sustainable agricolture in the Arab world implemented;
publication of the research; one seminary to spread the result of the