The annual date harvest season kicked off in the Gaza Strip in the first week of October.
This year’s harvest, bearing the hopes of Palestinian farmers for more income, lasts until mid-November, according to the Hamas-run agriculture ministry in Gaza.
Mohammed Abu Oda, spokesman of the agriculture ministry, told Xinhua that the coastal enclave is expected to produce about 15,000 tons of dates this year, a rebound from low yield last year under the impact of bad weather.
“In Gaza, there are about 240,000 palm trees, while about 180,000 are fruitful, and the rest are unproductive,” Abu Oda said, noting that the ministry had suspended date imports to benefit locally produced types.
For Gazans who are in economic difficulty, the date harvest season is considered one of the most important seasons, as it provides work for dozens of unemployed local people.
Medien Abu Rujaila, a farmer, told Xinhua that he waits for the yearly date of harvest season to get a seasonal job to keep his family afloat.
In the peak harvest season, “I work for 12 hours a day and can earn about 40 U.S. dollars,” said the 42-year-old father of six, adding that the money he saved during the harvest season could feed his family for two months at least.