FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Improving farmers’ water harvesting techniques for rain-fed olive orchards in Palestine

Photo credits: Fadi Dweik, ARIJ, 2022

22 March 2022 - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), and the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ) conducted a three-day training from 27 February to 1 March to improve the technique of Palestinian olive farmers to harvest water and to impart good agricultural practices, attended by 84 olive farmers and extension agents in the villages of Tayaseer, Faqu'a, and Tammoun in the West Bank.

In each village, the trainings were divided into practical and discussion-based theoretical sessions, and covered topics such as:

  1. Land designing, suitable distancing between olive trees, and the recommended number of olive trees per unit area;
  2. How to plow and fertilize the land to become ready for planting olive seedlings;
  3. How to select suitable areas for growing olive trees, building on rainfall annual rates and water needs, and how to select between rain-fed or supplementary irrigation techniques;
  4. The importance of applying suitable water harvesting techniques to enhance tree growth and increase their productivity, both quantitatively and qualitatively;
  5. The best times of the year for applying supplementary irrigation to olive trees ad in which amounts;
  6. The best ways to control weeds in olive orchards;
  7. The importance of plowing olive orchards and the most suitable times for doing so;
  8. How to choose a fertilizing scheme using (chemical or organic) and how to control pests and diseases in olive orchards;
  9. The importance of applying natural and biological treatments in olive orchards;
  10. How to recognize the level of ripeness in olive fruits, how to determine the best time for harvesting and proper harvesting procedures, including the most suitable tools for harvesting olive fruits; and
  11. Common diseases, signs and treatments of the most damaging diseases for olive fruits.

This activity is being implemented under the regional project “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Water Efficiency/Productivity and Water Sustainability in Near East and North African Countries,” directly under FAO’s Regional Water Scarcity Initiative, funded by the Swedish International Development & Cooperation Agency.​