National Agricultural Sector Strategy (2017-2022) “Resilience and Sustainable Development”. | Land Portal

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November 2016
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Based on the review of the Agricultural Sector Strategy of 2014-2016, and the National Policy Agenda, the National Development Plan (2017-2022) prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture is a nation-wide sectoral document consisting of two key components. The first component is the national policy agenda, which sets out the national vision, priorities and policies. The second component is the 18 national sector strategies, along with three cross-sector strategies highly interlinked with various sectors, including public funding (taxes and customs), economy (standards and specifications), water, environment and local governance (provision of services for farmers and producer). In particular, the first program is the Agricultural Development Program that directly contributes to achieving the second and third strategic objective. The Second Program is Enhancing Agricultural Services Program contributes in achieving the first and fourth strategic objectives, whereas the third Administrative Program contributes mainly to achieving the fifth strategic objective.The Vision of the agricultural sector is as follows “Sustainable agriculture; capable of competing locally and globally; and effectively contributes to strengthening food security, the bond between Palestinians and their land as well as their sovereignty over resources, towards building an Independent Palestinian State”.The overall target of the Strategy is a sustainable increasing production and productivity with the aim of increasing agricultural competitiveness and its contribution to food security to be reached together with the effort to strengthen the institutional and legislative structure of agricultural sector management in all its elements. The principles behind the document to achieve the goal are (i) accountability and transparency; (ii) equality and justice; (iii) active participation; (iv) sustainability; and (v) national commitment.To reach the goal, five main strategic objectives are essential (i) enhancing female and male farmers’ resilience and steadfastness on their lands; (ii) sustainably managing and better adapting to climate change natural and agricultural resources; (iii) increasing agricultural production, productivity, and competitiveness in local and international market, along with their contribution in gross domestic product and food security; (iv) giving female and male farmers and entrepreneurs access to quality agricultural services for increasing value along agricultural value chains; and (v) developing effective and efficient institutional and legal frameworks.To help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, main interventions are directed to (i) increasing availability of high quality and nutritional value food commodities from local production, as well as improving its economic access through reduced costs that are accessible to all local consumers; and (ii) increasing agricultural production, productivity and competitiveness of both livestock and plant products to bring entrepreneurship opportunities in the agricultural sector, particularly for youth and women as an essential contributor to farmers’ food security at household level and national level.In order to make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable, the Strategy aims at (i) providing the necessary support for land reclamation and agricultural road construction that link all agricultural land or lands that could be cultivated; (ii) protecting agricultural lands from urban expansion, especially in plain areas and high value agricultural lands; (iii) guiding and supporting farmers’ initiatives towards intensive and semi-intensive production systems, as well as the application of modern systems of agricultural production in line with the requirements of sustainable development; (iv) improving communication between agricultural extension workers and veterinarians with respect to the transfer and dissemination of agricultural knowledge, proper agricultural planning and commitment in the agricultural calendar; (v) strengthening the role of applied research in official research centers and universities in developing extension services for both plant and livestock agriculture; (vi) intensifying efforts of research and official institutions, local authorities and centers to protect the forests and natural reserves, as well as organize and develop pastures, protect agricultural biodiversity in all environmental areas; and (vii) establishing large water facilities in arable irrigated areas through the transfer of water or water collection or wastewater treatment and increase the efficiency of the available water.To enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, the document plans (i) suitable environment for agricultural production and development of youth and farmers to provide infrastructure services in marginalized areas, as well as agricultural programs and projects for the poor, marginalized and women entrepreneurs; (ii) mechanisms to ensure access of small farmers, women and youth to funding with the aim of enhancing their current farmers and creating entrepreneurial agricultural businesses; (iii) initiatives and national policies to reduce cost of production inputs, especially prices of fodders, fertilizers and pesticides; (iv) preservation of rural culture based on the cultivation of land with trees and crops, as well as breeding domestic animals as part of the household component; (v) information systems related to marketing, improving quality of products, activating control over the crossing, the promotion of national product and infrastructure development in marketing; (vi) empowerment of youth, women, farmers and entrepreneurs to access quality services in the field of agricultural business development and intensification of efforts to support entrepreneurship; (vii) highlight the role of women in agricultural work and their contribution to national output and enable them to strengthen their resources resulting from agricultural work and the Gross National Product (GNP), while empowering them to enhance their agricultural resources and income.The resilience of livelihoods to disasters shall be increased (i) taking measures and arrangements to adapt with or avoid the negative impact of climate change and natural disasters, particularly high temperatures and fluctuating precipitation or declining rain water; (ii) increasing the awareness of all relevant stakeholders including official and civil institutions, research centers, Unions, as well as agricultural councils and associations, about the importance of focusing on the ecosystem, agricultural biodiversity and desertification issues; and (iii) promoting and enforcing climate-smart and adaptive, biodiversity-protecting and desertification-combating agricultural policies and technologies.As for the Governance, one of the important achievements in relation to enhancing investment and improving relations between the public and private sector is the re-activation of the agricultural councils, particularly in terms of determining their role and purpose, in line with the requirements of enhancing governance of the various agricultural sectors and communication mechanisms between various production chains, for the benefit of small-scale producers.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Joan Jubran

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