OPT: Branching out

Would you like to help give poor olive farmers a better life?

 
A Woman from the Sir Co-operative, whose members gather together to harvest each others’ olive crop. Around 100,000 Palestinians in the West Bank are dependent on olives for their livelihood. Oxfam is supporting co-operatives like Sir to access the processing facilities and markets needed to increase their incomes.
 

Help olive farmers grow more

Olives are the basis of many families' livelihoods, and with some training in new agricultural techniques, a little investment in machinery, and some business support, men and women could improve crop quality and establish themselves as successful business people.


Your donation can do something brilliant

It will go towards funding innovative ideas such as supporting olive-based soap production, which is helping Amina Badah's family and raising the profile of her olive co-operative.

"We used to produce olive-oil soap in the traditional way. But because hand-made soap doesn't always have the same scent or look attractive, it can be difficult to sell. The new machine will allow us to produce diverse shapes and sizes, with different scents such as lemon, thyme and honey. It will help us to increase our income and support our families better. And having women work together, it also empowers us and enables us to become decision-makers. 

"It makes me really happy to see this change happening in our community. We are looking forward to developing our business with Oxfam's support."

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Almost half of the agricultural land in the Occupied Palestinian Territory's West Bank is dedicated to olives.

Oxfam

A bit of background

Almost half of the agricultural land in the Occupied Palestinian Territory's West Bank is dedicated to olives. However, the Israeli occupation has put much of the most fertile land in the West Bank off-limits and has cut off access to vital water sources. It means that over 30 per cent of Palestinian families in the area now struggle to earn enough to feed themselves. Malnutrition is rising, along with unemployment.

And while Palestinian olive oil can be amongst the world's best and generate a decent income for growers, they lack the agricultural and business skills, and basic equipment to access potential new markets.

How we're helping

With your support, we're helping poor Palestinian farmers really expand their horizons. We're providing on-going training in improved growing techniques and irrigation methods. We're also supporting co-operatives to process their olives collectively, and maintain quality control to produce premium extra virgin olive oil and access high value markets.

We're also helping women's co-operatives to develop their olive-based enterprises and achieve Fair Trade certification, producing soap and other beauty products for sale in local and lucrative European markets.

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Look how far your money can go

Father of eight Abdel is one of many farmers who has already benefited from the project's support:

 When we joined the project and received the right training and equipment we learned a lot, including how to press olive oil collectively. Farmers now all come together to select the best olives from their groves and press them on a daily basis, whilst paying close attention to press hygiene. As a result we've managed to produce high quality premium extra olive oil that is among the best olive oil in Palestine. We've sold it all for a very good price which has improved the economic situation of our families immensely, and given us hope for the future.

The olive tree is the symbol of our existence on this land. Like us, the tree is under threat of being uprooted by the occupation. Our ancestors raised these trees and we will continue to take care of them
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