Six truckloads of strawberries, spices and carnations were transferred from Gaza on 3 December via Karm Abu-Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing en route to markets in Europe.

This shipment of cash crops is part of the High Value Crops Export Program funded by the government of the Netherlands and implemented by a consortium led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is designed to help farmers in Gaza meet European agricultural production standards and to export crops to Europe which can bring profitable revenues to the farmers. The current exports season started in late November and is expected to yield a produce of more than 3,370 tons of vegetables, spices and strawberries as well as 2.5 million stems of flowers for the season 2013-2014.

The Dutch government has supported the Gazan flower, strawberry and vegetables farmers since 2006. The financial support has been accompanied by ongoing diplomatic efforts to ensure that the connection with the European market be maintained. This helped safeguard the cash crops sector, which in turn represents an important pillar for the Gaza Strip’s economy.

The Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah calls on the Israeli authorities to allow the transfer of such crops, and other agricultural products, from Gaza to the West Bank..

 Source: Netherlands Representative Office