Reform and Development of Markets, Value Chains and Producers’ Organisations

Reform and development of markets, value chains and producers’ organisations, occupied Palestinian territory
Women cooperatives – food processing ©FAO/Marco Longari

Private sector-led agriculture and agribusiness in the Palestinian occupied territory (oPT) can play a key role in building a resilient economy towards economic growth and in safeguarding rights and entitlements to natural resources and markets. This program aims at improving income and productivity in the agriculture sector, through improved access to markets, increased share of local market, enhanced competitiveness and profitability of Palestinian agribusinesses.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Palestinian Authority
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural development
Agricultural policy
Agricultural co-operatives & farmers’ organisations
01.03.2017 - 31.12.2022
CHF  3’000’000

The agricultural sector in the oPt is reported to operate at a quarter of its full potential and it suffers from chronic underinvestment. Agri­culture remains one of the main pillars of the Palestinian economy by contributing to food security, employment and export revenues, al­though its share in the GDP has declined from 13% in 2000 to 4% in 2016.

The Palestinian economy faces a wide number of con­straints, restrictions and bottlenecks: Israeli Occupa­tion including recurrent episodes of armed conflict, natural hazards and calamities generate an environ­ment of high risk and uncertainty. The closure of the Gaza Strip and the fragmentation of the West Bank into small enclaves restrict the movement of goods and people, access to natural resources, leading to higher production- and transaction cost. Agricultural infrastructure is obsolete and the sector’s potential to expand has been undermined horizontally (by ac­cessing additional land and water) and vertically (by intensifying production through full access to tech­nologies, inputs, assets and markets).

Within its commitment to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on a nego­tiated two-state solution, Switzerland aims at con­tributing to the establishment of an independent, viable, contiguous and democratic Palestinian state. Under its engagement in the Domain Agro-Econom­ic Development, Switzerland supports the Palestinian National Agriculture Sector strategy “Resilience and Sustainable Development” by co-financing with Denmark, the Netherlands, the EU and Spain the Multi-donor Agribusiness programme “Reform and Development of Markets, Value Chains and Produc­ers’ Organizations” (MAP), launched in 2017. This intervention is implemented with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Na­tions (FAO). It fosters:

  • A private sector-led development with competiti­veness and profitability, by addressing investment support modalities, by sharing the risk but also by updating the technology, improving the mar­keting of certain products at different levels and increasing production among others;
  • Government institutions as leaders in policy-ma­king, undertaking reforms, and in delivery of ser­vices indispensable for agribusiness development such as promoting wholesale markets reform and upgrading.
  • Civil society, including specifically NGOs and other related organizations, as technical experts with strong networks and the capacity to nurture social change such as integrating youth and wo­men in agribusiness by improving their capacities.

This intervention works in synergy with other pro­jects supported by Switzerland in the Agriculture sector such as the Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) programme which aims to improve plant health, animal health and food safety in the oPt including by learning how to use of pesticides and contributing to reduce related production costs.

Project Highlights:

  • Switzerland played a pioneering role in facilitating partnership among donors and in building trust with the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • The programme is innovative in various aspects:
    • Through investment in updating farming tech­nologies that sustainably increase productivity and use resources efficiently and in a competiti­ve way.
    • Through investment in processing (transforma­tion, filling, packaging, labelling etc.) and
    • Women-led agribusinesses to pilot products with potential for high value added and niche markets (wild cucumber, stone fruits, etc.).
  • Women and youth are essential partners of this programme: 30% of supported agribusinesses will be women-led