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16 March 2009



Availability of food and prices

Mills and Bakeries
Figure 1: Total Wheat Flour stock for all mills in Gaza Strip Sep08 to March 09 (10.March)


Figure 2: Variations of fishing catch in February 2007, 2008 and 2009

Market price analysis

Table 1: Price of the basic commodities in Gaza Strip before, during and after the war

· The price of chicken is also being affected by Gazans’ poultry farmers’ lack of control over imports and hatcheries being razed during past incursions (see Fig. 3)2. People rely on frozen poultry meat for animal protein, as fresh red meat, chicken and fish is unaffordable for many families.
· Bulk imports (imposed by the Israeli authorities) lead to periods of shortage and periods of surplus -i.e. eggs hatching at the same time- thus adding to the instability of chicken prices. Current price of 17.25 NIS/kg is 44% higher than in December 2008.
· It should be noted that farmers and agricultural laborers are still prevented from accessing the arable land in the “Buffer zone” (which runs along the Eastern border of the Gaza Strip with a width of circa 1 km, and along the Northern border of the Gaza Strip with a width of circa 2 km, and comprises approximately 30% of the arable land). Lack of materials for the rehabilitation of land, wells, irrigation networks, greenhouses, and nurseries also prevent farmers from returning to previous productivity levels. Furthermore, other agricultural inputs necessary to resume the agricultural production, including fertilizers, pesticides, seedlings, etc. are currently either unavailable or unaffordable to farmers. It is expected that the next agricultural production cycle will be penalized by these factors, thus jeopardizing the availability of locally produced food in future3.

Figure 3: Price fluctuation of various commodities between December 2008 and March 2009

Gaza Strip employees salaries As of 1 March 2009, the de facto Hamas Government started paying salaries to 20% of the total civil servants, while the Government in Ramallah started paying salaries to 77,000 Gaza Strip employees on 15 March.


1 Source: PALGRADE.
2 The chicken production was already being affected before the military operation due to lacking warming gas (necessary to heat the hatcheries) and poultry feed. A large number of chicks, estimated by FAO at over 500,000, were exterminated by a hatchery farmer because he could no longer afford to maintain the production scale.
3 Satellite-based imagery of damages caused to the agricultural sector released by UNOSAT can be found at the maps show damages to greenhouses, cultivated lands and roads in each of the governorates.

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