Towards Alternative Self-Reliant Agricultural Development (English)

George Kurzom, Development Studies Programme & Ma’an Development Center

 

This study proposes a grassroots approach to agricultural development, a model of production as an alternative to the official economic plans and policies in general, and to the official Palestinian and international plans and policies designated for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in particular. The study intensively analyzes the most important objective and external causes for the weakness of the Palestinian agricultural economy. In addition, it provides a critical analysis of the existing agricultural proposals, policies, and strategies, which are all based on the fact that the Palestinian economy is dependant on the Israeli economy. The study also deals with the role played by subjective factors in increasing the weakness of the agricultural economy. Moreover, it looks at the possibilities of strengthening popular agricultural production through the adoption and implementation of an agricultural strategy focused on the local market. This can be achieved by allowing for popular productive initiatives that are self-sustaining, and by encouraging sectoral integration and informal agricultural activity. In the final analysis, the study argues, it is important to put an end to external intervention from Israel and others, to work on guaranteeing productive variety and food security, and to link agricultural strategy with industrial development.

2001