- Title: WEST BANK: Farmers aim to cash in on apricots
- Date: 20th June 2011
- Summary: GIRL IN MIRROR REFLECTION
- Embargoed: 5th July 2011 13:00
- Location: West bank, West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Business,Industry
- Reuters ID: LVA6Q654II0SWMIHAXU6PGHSSFLM
- Story Text: It's an important time of year for Palestinian apricot farmer Zahi Rafidi as he selects the good fruit from the bad. He only has a small window of opportunity to cash in on his produce due to the fruit's brief harvest season.
But like many farmers in the West Bank town of Jifna, he is preparing to take the fruit to the annual apricot festival.
This year Rafidi is optimistic about his potential trade.
"The apricot tree produces one year with apricots and another without. This year it's a good season,'' he said in between sorting the fruit.
The area is known locally for the fruit's harvest festival, and the apricot festival not only provides an opportunity for local farmers, but it's also a platform for artists and craftsmen.
Festival spokesman Rami Abdo said the event has grown every year.
"Our idea was that the Jifna Apricot should be shown because it is unique. So we decided in the beginning to have a bazaar but then we developed the bazaar into a larger market; then over the years it's become a festival with local art troupes and other companies participating in the festival. Also local products are exhibited at the festival," said Abdo.
Visitors have the opportunity to sample some of the local produce like apricots and honey, but they can also buy paintings, glass objects and mosaics.
"I am of course proud like other Palestinians of our Palestinian history and heritage. I try to renew this heritage through mosaic images and stone statues that represent our heritage and cultural traditions," said artist Faheed Shaheen.
The three day festival, which ran from 16-18 June, is now into its 16th year.
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