World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian farmer Ghazi Hejazi, 54, sighs as he looks at his land.
It used to be full of beautiful flowers during this time every year, but things have changed.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Hejazi said he reduced the area reserved for growing flowers in his land, which is located in Rafah city in southern Gaza, because of the lack of water required to grow them, in addition to the Israeli blockade on Gaza that is now in its 10th year.
“[There have been] restrictions imposed on flower exportation followed by a total prohibition five years ago,” he said. “[Also], the local turnout has weakened because of the devastated economy.”
“This sector used to provide work for around 100 people, which means 100 families,” Hejazi added.
Like many other farmers, Hejazi has now turned to growing vegetables instead in order to make a living for himself.
“The water that reaches Gaza is not suitable to grow flowers,” Nezar al-Wahidi, director general of the Soil and Irrigation Ministry in Gaza, said, citing the water’s high salinity.
Gaza used to export four to five million flowers every year between 2010 and 2014, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture.
This was made possible through financial support from the Netherlands, but funding was later reduced, forcing farmers to rely less on flowers and more on vegetables.
Since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative polls in 2006, Israel has imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, creating a difficult economic and humanitarian situation for many of the territory’s roughly 1.9 million inhabitants.
Source: Anadolu AgencyGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Nisan 2016, 15:56