Palestinian farmer successfully cultivates red corn in Gaza Strip for 1st time
Cultivation of red corn in Gaza is drawing attention and presenting opportunities for agricultural advancements
By Cagri Kosak, Nour Mahd Ali Abu Aisha and Muhammed Semiz
GAZA, Palestine (AA) - Mohammed Abu Ziada, a 30-year-old Palestinian farmer living in the blockaded Gaza Strip, has achieved his first successful harvest of red corn, using imported seeds from China.
He cultivated the red corn on his farm in the northern town of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip, harvesting the first crop from the imported seeds.
Red corn, known for its distinct taste compared to white and yellow varieties, is recognized for its smaller kernels.
Speaking to Anadolu, Abu Ziada said he decided to plant the imported seeds to pioneer agricultural practices in Gaza.
He said that red corn is typically grown from summer to autumn, influenced by the region's climate conditions.
The Palestinian entrepreneur farmer discovered red corn about two years ago during a business trip to China, where he aimed to engage in trade and import products.
Due to the 16-year Israeli blockade on Gaza, Abu Ziada has faced considerable hardships. He expressed his desire to share this experience with the people of Gaza, who have been facing worsening economic conditions.
He made an agreement with another Palestinian farmer in April to tend to the corn's cultivation and care. He said he would distribute the first harvest to anyone interested in trying it, free of charge, and expressed his intention to import more seeds in the future to trade red corn in Gaza.
Noting that he imported only a small quantity of seeds for the trial, he said 3-4 kilograms (6.6-8.8 pounds) of seeds are required per acre.
"We are traders who search for goods. When we come across a new product, we bring in small quantities for testing purposes to avoid significant losses in case of failure," he added.
Regarding the public interest in red corn, he said it has garnered attention in Gaza and become popular on social media. He said he has received numerous messages from people expressing an interest in purchasing the corn after the harvest.
Abu Ziada also pointed out that red corn requires less water and fewer agricultural chemicals compared to other corn varieties.
According to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, due to Israel's blockade and restrictions imposed since 2007, around 61.6% of Gaza's population, which has reached 2.3 million, is living in poverty, with an unemployment rate of approximately 47%.
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