- Title: WEST BANK-MUSHROOMS First Palestinian mushroom farm opens in West Bank
- Date: 18th January 2015
- Summary: JERICHO, WEST BANK (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MUSHROOM EXPERT CHECKING THE FARM MUSHROOMS GROWING VARIOUS OF ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF AMORO MUSHROOM FARM, MAHMOUD KUHAIL, CHECKING SOIL
- Embargoed: 2nd February 2015 12:00
- Location: West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVACPIPV5773FL27UIQ0JXKB2VYP
- Story Text: A farm in the West Bank city of Jericho has become the first to grow Palestinian mushrooms.
Four young Palestinians saw the lack of locally farmed mushrooms as an opportunity, and established 'Amoro Agriculture'. They taught themselves everything they needed to know, and then set up the farm.
"We did some research into everything involved in planting the white mushroom. It was not easy because there were no previous experiments in this in Palestine, therefore everything was hard for us, in terms of our dealing with suppliers because it took us some time to explain to them exactly what we needed, and when we started to implement our research in Palestine," said Mahmoud Kuhail, one of the founders of the farm.
None of the founders had an agricultural background. Kuhail and two other co founders are computer engineers, while the fourth studied business.
Their company was registered in May 2013, but their first production was in December 2014.
Even though they've only just started selling their mushrooms on the market, co-founder Samir Khreishah has amibitions that the operation will grow.
"We expect to sell at the local market, in the West Bank. We are concentrating on Ramallah which has the highest consumption of mushrooms in the West Bank. We will start from Ramallah and then we will sell to other West Bank cities. We are also working in order to sell to Gaza. In the first stage, our production will cover 40 percent of needs in West Bank," he said.
Currently, demand for mushrooms in the West Bank and Gaza is met by Israeli produced mushrooms, with many planted in Jewish settlements on occupied land.
Samir Samara of the Agricultural Ministry in Jericho said he hoped the Palestinian mushroom will eventually replace the Israeli product in the local market.
"This new company is producing the white mushroom, which is the first company of it's kind in Palestine. As everyone knows we usually depend on Israeli mushroom, in all the sectors such as the restaurants and hotels," he said.
According to the founders, the specific type of mushroom they are planting requires an advanced control system and technologies which did not exist in the Palestinian territories - they had to build everything from scratch.
Jericho's fertile land and subtropical climate makes it an ideal location for the cultivation of not only mushroom, but also oranges, bananas, dates and figs.
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