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Gaza farmers struggle in war aftermath

Oct. 7, 2014 | Al Jazeera English

Israel's war on Gaza has taken its toll on all economic sectors, with the agriculture industry hit especially hard.

Sept. 3, 2014 ©Lena Odgaard

Sept. 3, 2014 ©Lena Odgaard

DEIR AL-BALAH, GAZA - Only days after a ceasefire was declared in Gaza, ending a 51-day bombardment by Israel, hundreds of farmers showed up at a distribution centre in al-Zawayda outside Deir al-Balah in central Gaza to receive sacks of fodder.

"We are distributing fodder and barley for all the sheep and goats in Gaza," said Ciro Fiorillo, local head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), to the crowd of assembled farmers. "For every herding family, we will be able to give the fodder needed to feed each animal for a month and a half."

Funded by the Canadian government, the fodder distribution was aimed at sustaining the remaining livestock in the area. Two major Israeli military operations within the past three years have drastically reduced Gaza's number of sheep and goats: A census in 2010 registered 73,500 animals, while only 58,000 were enlisted for fodder distribution this summer.

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