Wednesday July 31st, 2019 ARCO LAB

Conclusion of the project for the improvement of the quality of Medjool dates in Palestine

The project to reorganize the cooperative of date farmers and improve the quality of Medjool dates carried out in Jericho, Jordan Valley (Palestine) – funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented by the John Paul II Foundation – ended with the inauguration of a new cold store. This structure, with a capacity of 200 tons, will allow the conservation of dates collected by local farmers before selling them on the market. The inauguration is the final step of a journey started in 2017 for the managerial reorganization of the cooperative of small date producers in the Jordan Valley and to improve the quality of the supply chain.

The date Medjool, the king of dates, is a particular variety that grows better in the Jordan Valley where the combination of dry climate, the depression of the area – which are located at 250 m below sea level – and the salinity of the soil produce a tastier fruit. Despite its characteristics, the Medjool date trade has to face numerous difficulties including the scarcity of natural resources, in particular water, the lack of adequate facilities for storing fruits, and the lack of quality certifications necessary to sell on international markets.

The project entitled Support for the productive, managerial and commercial reorganization of cooperatives of Palestinian and Egyptian date producers had the objective of supporting the local Palestinian farmers’ cooperative, the  Palm Farmer Cooperative Association (PFCA,) and the Jericho Chamber of Commerce in the reorganization of the production chain in order to face these difficulties. As a whole, the project has relaunched economic and agricultural activities in the Jericho region, offering farmers new opportunities to improve their social and economic well-being.

ARCO researchers, during their several to field missions, have developed standardized operating procedures for the management of production, harvest, post-harvest, treatment, packaging and preparation for sale. At the same time, Researchers trained farmers and members of the Jericho Chamber of Commerce on the new procedures, on quality standards and publishes  an Integrated Quality Manual for the management of the Cooperative.

Read more on the different phases of the project, here.

For further information

Leonardo Borsacchi
Sustainable Food Commodities Unit

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