Russia is preparing to import the first cargo of strawberries from Gaza, according to Ahmed al-Shafey, the CEO of the Gaza Agricultural Cooperative for Producing & Marketing. In the Gaza Strip, the strawberry harvest season is currently underway. The export of this fruit generates excellent revenues between December and April every year.
Now Russian companies have set their local marketing plans for the import of strawberries from Gaza, and the total is estimated to reach 15 tons by April 2018, worth 76,500 dollars.
Shafey added, “Russian companies will buy 1 kilogram of strawberries for 18 Israeli shekels [5.20 dollars], while Israeli companies pay 15 shekels [4.30 dollars].” In addition to this, Gaza seeks to export other fruits and vegetables to Russia. Palestinian farmers are considering the possibility of establishing a permanent partnership with Russia to export strawberries, oranges, figs, guavas and grapes from Gaza if they can outbid Israeli companies.
Eid Siyam, the head of the crops department at Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture, told Al-Monitor: “Strawberry crops are one of Gaza’s most important export crops. Strawberry cultivation contributes to roughly 11% of Gaza’s total workforce, as it secures at least 44,000 employment opportunities for four months of each year."