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Agricultural cooperation and aid for Palestinians

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Civil Administration approves plan to take on funding of pest-control program for Palestinian agricultural areas, specifically protecting palm trees.

(Communicated by COGAT)

CA to fund pesticides for Palestinian crops

The Civil Administration has approved a plan to improve Palestinian farming, supplying the necessary pesticides to agricultural areas in the Palestinian Authority and in Judea and Samaria.

The pest-control project began two years ago, focusing on the use of biological pesticides. At the end of 2011 previous funding for the project ran out, though Civil Administration agriculture officer for Judea and Samaria fought to continue the project. "A large budget was approved to fund the project - specifically treating palm tree pests," explained Mr. Eiman As'ad, senior coordinator for finance and marketing at the Civil Administration agriculture office.

The Civil Administration agriculture office held several educational programs for Palestinian farmers. "The Civil Administration approved funding for pest-control, enabling us to implement what we've learned at the conferences," explained Mr. As'ad.

Additionally, the Civil Administration agriculture office remains in close contact with the Palestinian environmental company. "We receive constant reports from the field of how the pesticides are working," said Mr. As'ad. "It's crucial that they [the Palestinians] know how to deal with natural pests, and we hope to convey this knowledge," he added.

Israeli and Palestinian Ministries of Agriculture meet to strengthen cooperation

The Head of the Veterinary services at the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture met on December 14, 2011 with a Palestinian official delegation to discuss various veterinary issues. They also focused on the necessity to systematize information-sharing and to organize future joint workshops.

The Palestinian doctors presented an annual program for animal vaccines: they will request each December from Israel a certain number of vaccines that they need to buy for the whole following year.

The advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture said that they have a very important track record of professional cooperation and that Israelis and Palestinians keep the same standards on vaccinations and veterinary protocols. Around ten joint workshops are organized by the Civil Administration each year.

The Israeli and Palestinian Ministries of Agriculture also have joint committees on each sector: Veterinary services, Plant protection and Trade. Both parties meet regularly to discuss the issues related to these topics and to improve cooperation. The proximity of Israelis and Palestinians makes these committees necessary. "Viruses cross borders," said the Israeli Head of the Veterinary Services.