- Title: Palestinian grape farmers see market collapse amid pandemic
- Date: 10th September 2020
- Summary: HALHUL, WEST BANK, (SEPTEMBER 7, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN FARMER, MOHAMMAD ABDELLATIF JALLAK, PICKING BUNCHES OF GRAPES JALLAK CUTTING STEM OF GRAPES BUNCH JALLAK FILLING BOXES OF GRAPE BUNCHES OF GRAPES DROPPED IN FRUIT GRINDER JALLAK POURING IN MORE GRAPES INTO GRINDER GRINDER BLADES GRINDING UP FRUIT VARIOUS OF JALLAK LINING UP SHEETS OF MALBAN (A GRAPE PRODUCT LIKE FRUIT ROLLERS MADE FROM GRAPES, SUGAR AND PINE SEEDS) ON LINES ON ROOF SHEETS OF MALBAN FOLDED AND PILED ON GROUND (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GRAPE FARMER MOHAMMAD ABDELLATIF JALLAK, SAYING: (JALLAK FOLDING MALBAN SHEETS AS HE SPEAKS): "This year the season's crop yield was good, the rain was good, the grapes are all good, everything is good, but there is no market, no market, because of this disease (the coronavirus pandemic) that came and wrecked it for the people." PALESTINIAN FARMER, NABIHA KHALIL SALIM KARAJA, STIRRING BOILING MOLASSES TO MAKE MALBAN IN POT VARIOUS OF KARAJA USING LONG WOODEN SPOON TO STIR BOILING MOLASSES LOGS OF WOOD BURNING UNDER BLACKENED POT OF MOLASSES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN FARMER, NABIHA KHALIL SALIM KARAJA, SAYING: "When there used to be festivals, we used to benefit from them, but this year, there are no festivals. So people come to buy here, from my house, just now someone came and bought three kilogrammes of malban." JALLAK MOVING SHEETS OF MALBAN (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GRAPE FARMER, MOHAMMAD ABDELLATIF JALLAK, SAYING: "People were staying (at home). Those who were at home, started working on their crops, and now is the season of grapes, people are not working and are staying at home, so the crops are not sold." HEBRON, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 9, 2020) (REUTERS) BOXES OF GRAPES DISPLAYED FOR SALE ON SIDE OF ROAD / PALESTINIAN MERCHANT, MUNTASER AL-JAABARI, PILING BOXES JAABARI PICKING GRAPES AND SORTING THEM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GRAPES MERCHANT, MUNTASER AL-JAABARI, SAYING: "Last year the box of grapes cost 30 to 35 shekels ($8-$10), but this year in the market it's being sold for molasses and the box is being sold for 20 shekels ($5), the farmers did not expect that to happen for the grapes season, and did not expect that the grapes yield will be this much this year." HEBRON, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 7, 2020) (REUTERS) HEAD OF HEBRON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, NOUR AL-DEEN JARADAT, SITTING AT OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF HEBRON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, NOUR AL-DEEN JARADAT, SAYING: "With the grape season this year, and as we go through exceptional circumstances - the coronavirus pandemic - made people look after their lands more, and thus the production amounts increased, and so did the quality. But unfortunately, there was failure in marketing, and this has various reasons. First of which is the weakened purchasing power of Palestinians due to the economic situation, also the closure and lockdown that was imposed, and the difficulty of import and export." DURA, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 8, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WOMEN POURING MALBAN PASTE ON STRIPS OF YELLOW PLASTIC SHEETS ON ROOFTOP TO DRY IT VARIOUS OF WOMEN SPREADING PASTE OF MALBAN ON THE SHEET WITH SPOONS
- Embargoed: 24th September 2020 10:59
- Keywords: COVID-19 Grapes Hebron West Bank agriculture pandemic
- Location: HALHUL, DURA AND HEBRON, WEST BANK
- City: HALHUL, DURA AND HEBRON, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001CV3VJO5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Palestinian grape farmers are boasting a bumper crop this year, helped in part by coronavirus lockdowns that gave many of them more time to till their vines in the occupied West Bank.
But the pandemic's economic ravages have also slashed sales of the fruit, depressing the hilly breadbasket region of Hebron.
"This year the yield was good, the rain was good, the grapes are all good ... but there is no market, because of this disease," said farmer Mohammad Abdellatif Jallak, folding sheets of "malban", or fruit leather made from dried grapes.
The pandemic, said Hebron Chamber of Commerce chairman Nour al-Deen Jaradat, "made people look after their lands more, and thus the production amounts increased, and so did the quality. But unfortunately, there was a failure in marketing."
For lack of customers, grapes that were previously sold for around $10 box are now being turned into molasses at almost half the value, said Muntaser al-Jaabari, a fruit merchant.
A United Nations agency warned on Tuesday (September 8) that the pandemic was compounding dire economic conditions in the Palestinian territories, where 2019 unemployment was 33 percent and GDP per capita is projected to fall by 3 percent to 4.5 percent this year.
(Production: Yosri Al-Jamal, Suheir Shiekh, Nuha Sharaf)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None