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In its second year, USAID’s Palestinian Agribusiness Partnership Activity (PAPA) is accelerating economic development and creating new employment opportunities in the West Bank and Gaza. In a major milestone for Palestine’s agricultural sector, CARANA provided assistance under the project to develop an exclusive marketing agreement for fresh agricultural products from the West Bank. The Palestinian Sinokrot Food Company has finalized marketing rights with the Israeli ARAVA Export Growers Ltd. to export fresh herbs and vegetables to the United States, Europe and Russia. Sinokrot is starting an export company with an export terminal in the Jordan Valley and USAID is providing the firm with two high-capacity cherry tomato sorting/grading lines and one high-capacity sweet pepper sorting/grading line.

Under the project, CARANA has also initiated 10 commercial agribusiness partnerships with three olive industries, two herb production farms, four strawberry production cooperatives, and one carnation producer. These partnership agreements will generate the equivalent of more than 1,500 full-time jobs in the agricultural sector. CARANA has also been assisting olive and olive oil producers improve production and marketing in an effort to capture a growing market in niche and specialty high-quality olive oils.

For small-scale farmers and households, CARANA has provided assistance to improve food production and quality for local consumption through training, agricultural extension and distribution of tools. The program has reached more than 5,000 families.

The project was also instrumental in successfully transferring ex-Gush Katif greenhouse complexes from Israeli to Palestinian control upon Israeli disengagement – representing more than 1,000 acres of greenhouses and associated packing areas that sustain more than 4,000 jobs.

Read more about the PAPA program or go to its website at www.papausaid.com

See also Virtual Consulate Gaza (U.S. Department of State)