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New market in Hebron provides better trade opportunities for herders
Today a new livestock market was officially opened in Al Dahrieh, Hebron to serve directly 2 000 herders in addition to the consumers living in the area. The livestock market was established by the Al Dahrieh Municipality with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture as part of a USD 2.9 million project to provide emergency support to vulnerable herders. The project was financed by the Government of Canada.
"Herders in Al Dahrieh suffered from a lack of suitable facilities and a dedicated space for livestock trading. This new market provides a much needed venue to help herders generate better income through a better trade environment. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the Government of Canada, and the great efforts by FAO and Al Dahrieh Municipality which made this market a reality. We hope that this support will continue to finalize the full development of this market and replicate this experience in other areas of Palestine," highlighted the Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Dr. Sufian Sultan.
Herders from Al Dahrieh, collectively own one of the largest concentrations of livestock in the West Bank, an estimated 33 000 small ruminants. In the past, herders improvised a smaller, unregulated market in the centre of Al Dahrieh town due to the lack of a suitable centralized market. However, this market could not ensure compliance with health regulations and adequate access to markets. As a result, herders exposed their livestock to higher risk of animal diseases and failed to receive full value for their animals. The new market addresses these challenges, providing adequate space for traders, herders and livestock within a veterinary controlled environment to safeguard animal health and hygiene conditions.
"This livestock market is part of Canada's broader efforts to reduce poverty and lay the foundations for a prosperous Palestinian state living in peace with its neighbours. It is our sincere hope that this market will improve trade opportunities, increase incomes and support food security in Al Dahrieh and among other vulnerable communities in the West Bank," stated Mr Douglas Scott Proudfoot, Representative of Canada to the Palestinian Authority.
Animal health and food safety are intrinsically linked to livestock markets. The provision of veterinary services at the new market gives assurances in animal health and food safety, sick animals are prevented from entering the market, which ultimately protects the health of both animals and consumers and results in improved prices for the livestock.
"The opening of this livestock market, is an important result within FAO's broad work to boost income of female and male herders and strengthen food safety throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Our vision for this market is not yet fully realized, we hope to mobilize the necessary resources to develop the third, and final phase of the livestock market. This will further improve the facilities of the market and expand its usability so that herder and women's associations will be able to market their value-added products on a large scale," emphasized Dr. Ciro Fiorillo, Head of Office, FAO West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The new livestock market provides a safe and convenient space for livestock trading and the opportunity for women and men herders to get the best prices for their animals and processed products. In this way, it contributes to enhancing incomes and resilience of livestock herding communities.
"This market delivers a huge boost to the herder community in Hebron. The Al Dahrieh Municipality has been a proud partner in the design and implementation of this project. We are already seeing the benefits in our community and we look forward to the next stage of development for the livestock market," said Mayor of Al Dahrieh Municipality, Mr Rateb Al Sabar.