Olives constitute the backbone of agricultural production in Palestine, covering half of its agricultural area and contributing to the livelihoods of more than 100,000 people. Due to poor production and post-harvest processing practices, the olive value chain is a main contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the agricultural sector and it is not realizing its potential for significant carbon sequestration.
As part of its NDC, the State of Palestine has committed to developing low-carbon agricultural value chains with the objective of having at least 50 percent of farms applying climate-smart agriculture by 2040.
This NSP attempts to enable a transformation of the olive sector towards low-carbon development. It will promote sustainable production and post-harvest technologies and practices such as zero and reduced tillage, intercropping of legumes and terracing. Composting of agricultural residues and densification of olive tree orchards will be upscaled, the installation of solar panels will be supported and the utilization of secondary products from olive mill residues as a source of energy will be promoted. To further strengthen the economic viability of the technologies promoted, the NSP includes a component to increase competitiveness and market access of low-carbon olive value chains. The NSP will provide partial grants, conditional compensation based on the adoption of low-carbon technologies and it will support improved access to concessional loans for low-carbon investments, for example in solar panels.
In this way, the socially and culturally important Palestinian olive sector will demonstrate a competitive business model that will gear a wider channelling of funds towards low-carbon alternatives across the entire Palestinian agricultural sector. The NSP will demonstrate a model of success in Palestine that can serve as an inspiration for other olive oil-producing countries throughout the Mediterranean region.