With small manufacturing plants in the Gaza Strip shutting down one after the other and the bigger ones barely holding on against impossible odds, agriculture there is next in line for a resounding crash.
Unlike other manufacturing sectors, the farmers’ economic downfall will have immediate and dire consequences for residents of the Gaza Strip. Even now, the UN’s Relief and Works Agency regularly supplies more than half the residents with sacks of flour, rice, sugar and oil. Fruits and vegetables grown locally make up an important part of their meager diets.
The slow ruin of Gaza’s agricultural sector began about a decade ago, when Hamas came to power and Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip. But farmers were dealt a near fatal blow by the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, known as Operation Protective Edge, and are having a hard time recovering. Now farmers are saying that what little remained after the war has been wiped out in recent months. It would appear that the death throes of Gaza’s agriculture are yet another stage leading to the eventual declaration of Gaza as unfit for habitation, as the UN foresaw in a report issued about a year ago.