The Office of the European Union Representative and the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture joined 28 Palestinian farmers at the opening of “Baladi Market” al-Istiqlal Park in al-Bireh city. “Baladi Market” supports Palestinian farmers in marketing their products and encourages Palestinian consumers to go local.
“Baladi Market” is the first joint initiative by the EU and the Ministry of Agriculture to promote and market Palestinian agricultural products to the Palestinian public. It included a variety of fresh and organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products, jams, and many more.
The market was promoted through the campaign “Go Local” – Khaleek Baladi. Hundreds of shoppers visited the market while respecting the Covid-19 health protocols issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Some of the farmers who attended the market and sold their products are receiving EU support through EU-funded projects. Many of them live in Area C where they are facing daily challenges including water shortage, denied access to their land, and attacks by Israeli settlers.
“It is my pleasure to be part of “Souq Baladi” today with Palestinian farmers who struggle on a daily basis to grow their lands and protect their crops. In Palestine, it is a challenge to be a farmer, to sustain productivity, and to protect your living. In light of this reality, the European Union and its Member States are working together with the Palestinian Authority and civil society to empower farmers and support them.
Agricultural development remains a key requirement for a future independent Palestinian state. This is part of our contribution towards maintaining the prospects of the two-state solution,” said the European Union Deputy Representative Maria Velasco.
The EU is supporting the agricultural sector in Palestine with an emphasis on promoting an agribusiness in enabling the environment and mitigating the increasing risks for agriculture-based livelihoods, especially in Area C and the Gaza Strip.
In particular, it aims to facilitate the access of women and youth, and vulnerable groups in general, to better opportunities for their potential competitiveness and sustainability. It does so by supporting job creation and developing small-medium agribusinesses initiatives and reinforcing the management and technical skills of the Palestinian farmers, with special attention to the environment and climate-sensitive initiatives.
Together with EU development partners, the European Union channels this support through programs implemented by international organizations, local and international civil society organizations, and the Palestinian Authority.