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Gaza: Cheaper grapes and more expensive vegetables
In Gaza, the prices of vegetables, such as potatoes and tomatoes, are rising in comparison to previous years, while prices of some locally produced fruits such as grapes, figs and mangoes, are falling.
The price per kilo of potatoes and tomatoes is about 3 shekels (0.71 Euro), while the price of grapes oscillates between 3 and 4 shekels (0.71 to 0.94 Euro) per kilo, depending on the variety.
Nizar al-Wahidi, director of the General Administration of Soil and Irrigation, said that "the production of grapes in Gaza this year is expected to be 130% greater than the average compared to previous seasons."
He said in an interview with "Palestine Today" that the acreage devoted to grape cultivation is 6,000 acres, in addition to another 1,700 unproductive ones, bringing it to a total of 7,500 acres. He also noted that the average production of grapes is of 1,100 kg per dunum, with a total of 7,000 tonnes per year.
According to Al-Wahidi, the per capita consumption of grapes amounted to more than 6 kilos per year, noting that last year it stood at 5.5 kilos.
He added that grape prices are currently low and affordable, standing at 10 shekels for 3-4 kilos, which is cheaper than last year.
Regarding vegetables, Al-Wahidi pointed out that the high prices recorded this season are due to two reasons: firstly, the damage suffered by a large share of the crops due to the continued power outages, and secondly, to the high cost of storage and cooling.
Al-Wahidi said that 14,300 dunums were planted with potatoes and about 5,000 tonnes were produced, stressing that the poor storage due to the electricity crisis caused 40% of the total potato production to be lost. He added that the cost of storage per hour has multiplied by 4 as a result of the electricity crisis. As for tomatoes, Al-Wahidi explained that their high price can also be attributed to the lack of supply due to difficulties in the harvest.
Publication date: 9/13/2017
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