KORE - Plateforme de partage des connaissances sur la résilience

Inclusive resilience-building investments for vulnerable farmers, herders and fishers in the Gaza Strip

Promoting structural transformation and resilience of the agriculture sector through sustainable energy solutions

This Learning Brief documents the main lessons drawn from the country investment implemented in the Gaza Strip from 2018 to 2022 by FAO and its partners in the framework of the Global Network Against Food Crises Partnership Programme, funded by the European Union. It provides an overview of the role of solar energy solutions in promoting structural transformations in the agriculture sector. This learning brief showcases key learning on the programmatic approach supporting the adoption and expansion of solar energy solutions to enhance the food security and livelihoods resilience of vulnerable farming, herding, and fishing households in the Gaza Strip.

The collaborative and forward-looking approach of this project was achieved by bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders from the local and national levels to more sustainably tackle the energy crisis in the Gaza Strip. Indeed, the deficit in power supply imposes a considerable constraint on the residents of the Gaza Strip and has considerably impacted all agricultural value chains as well as household incomes and food security, while threatening the sustainability of agricultural livelihoods. Regular escalation of violence further impacts the agriculture sector with full or partial destruction of physical assets, as well as losses of crops and livestock. Before the escalation of hostilities of October 2023, up to 98.2 percent of surveyed households connected to the public networks in the Gaza Strip were experiencing daily interruptions of electricity supply. Consequently, interventions addressing the chronic electricity crisis by supporting renewable energy sources, including solar energy, have become critical to protect lives, sustain livelihoods and strengthen food security and resilience.


  • On impact: The most important advantage of having a solar energy system is the predictable availability of power supply. Thanks to the installation of the solar energy units, male- and female-headed households experienced, respectively, a 64 and 75 percent productivity increase, and a drop of around 53 and 50 percent of production costs. In addition, 25 percent of female-headed households diversified their crop production.
  • On resilience and food security: The intervention contributed to supporting the use of fully operating agricultural equipment and expanding the set of income-generating activities available to households, therefore improving their capacity to bounce back after a shock affecting their main source of livelihood. Beneficiary households experienced an improvement in resilience capacity and food security, with sensible increases in the resilience capacity index from 33 to 42; in the food consumption score from 53 to 57; and a rise in food expenditure from USD 27 to 34 per capita.
  • On transformation of the agriculture sector: Adopting a dual humanitarian and development approach is key for the success of projects aiming at strengthening food security and livelihoods resilience, especially in complex protracted crisis environments such as the Gaza Strip. On the one hand, they require agricultural livelihoods-safeguarding interventions to address shorter-term needs and yield quick results; on the other hand, they require interventions designed to tackle long-standing structural challenges and respond to the people and agrifood system’s longer-term priorities. Following that approach, FAO’s focus on solar energy access effectively contributed to preserving and diversifying agricultural livelihoods, while strengthening the potential of the agriculture sector and food value chains and reducing dependence on unsustainable energy sources.
  • On HDP nexus: The experience has shown that solar energy systems contributed to urgently and sustainably addressing energy shortage-related stresses threatening the agriculture- and fishery-based livelihoods, and to greater social cohesion and peaceful coexistence among various segments of the agriculture and food value chains and in communities. FAO observed an increasing return per drop of water and a significant reduction of the pressure on water resources. Solar energy itself does not allow to plan and expand on access to water resources, however, by providing a stable and more equitable access to energy and water, the project has contributed correlatively to reducing the likelihood of dispute among water suppliers and users.
  • On learning: The delivery of interventions incorporating technological innovation and aiming at structural transformations requires strong information mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation activities, and collective learning through participatory processes. The findings and the learning generated will provide a richer understanding and appreciation of the transformational change process, which is essential for the replicability, scale up and sustainability of such intervention.
  • On gender: The project overcame some limitations (related to gender roles, entitlements and division of labour) preventing a wider inclusion of female food producers, by targeting women cooperatives at food processing level. Beyond improved working conditions thanks to available electricity, female cooperatives have become the centre of community engagement and social events. It proved that structural transformation can only be fully realized through inclusive change processes addressing structural gender inequalities. Gender analysis and gender mainstreaming approaches are therefore essential, and the road map for the electrification of the agriculture sector in the Gaza Strip could build on those to integrate gender-sensitive markers adapted to women’s roles throughout the food value chain to fulfil their specific needs and enhance their food security and resilience.
  • On water stress: Prior to the escalation of the conflict in October 2023, the protracted crisis situation in the Gaza Strip and other unfavourable conditions (water scarcity, limited access to lands and markets, etc.) already made farming and fishing households particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. This was exacerbated by major disruptions in electricity and water supply by public networks, affecting agricultural activities and livelihoods. FAO's intervention focused on the provision and installation of solar energy systems to increase the availability, predictability and reliability of power supply to operate food production and processing activities (e.g. water pumping and irrigation, food post-harvest processing, cold storage, etc.). Solar energy systems were provided for 13 groundwater extracting wells and water irrigation ponds, leading to the stabilization of water provision. FAO observed an increasing return per drop of water and a significant reduction of the pressure on water resources, contributing to greater cohesion among water suppliers and users. Crop farming households diversified their cultivated crops and expanded their cultivated areas thanks to increased water availability to irrigate lands. In addition to addressing shorter-term needs and yield quick results for farming households, this project promoted a policy space to expand the solar energy technology as a sustainable solution for the agriculture and food sectors in the Gaza Strip.
No comments

Pour laisser vos commentaires, rejoignez la communauté KORE