The State of the Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera) in the Gaza Strip, Palestine: A Questionnaire-based Study

Abdel Fattah N. Abd Rabou, Eqbal S. Radwan

Abstract


The current study aims at documenting the trends on various aspects of the knowledge of farmers, workers and owners of Date Palm orchards regarding the state of the Date Palm sector in Deir Al-Balah region, Gaza Strip, Palestine. One hundred and fifty people (N=150) were selected randomly to fill a questionnaire especially designed to conduct this study. The results of the questionnaire survey revealed that 71.4% of the interviewed population had 3 dunum or less cultivated by Date Palms. The groundwater was the main irrigation source as claimed by 61.3% of the interviewed population; the rest depends on either rain water or reclaimed wastewater. The Hayani cultivar was grown by all respondents, though the majority ensured that the cultivation of diverse cultivars can help lower the risk of pest infestation. About two-thirds (62.0%) confirmed that the average production per a Date Palm tree was from 70 to 200 kg per year. All respondents were aware on the popular uses and industries based on Date Palm trees, and 70.0% of them produce various household products. The military operations of the Israeli occupation and the outbreak of RPW are crucial threats facing the Date Palm sector in the Gaza Strip. Moreover, 84.0% believed on advantages drawn by the Date Palm cultivation projects in the Gaza Strip to include the provision of self-sufficiency and food security, the improvement of productivity and national income and the reduction of unemployment which is an escalating problem in the Gaza Strip. Finally, the study recommends the improvement of the processes of Date Palm cultivation, production and marketing, and the cooperation of responsible parties to ensure a good sustainable development of the Date Palm sector in the Gaza Strip.


Keywords


Date Palm, cultivars, survey, public uses, threats, Deir Al-Balah, Gaza Strip, Palestine.

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