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Grapes production in Palestine before 1948 (Nakba),British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine: Volume I - Page 317. Chapter IX: Agriculture: Section 1: Agriculture Production: (b) Crops and Cropping

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British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine


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19. Grapes are of great importance to Palestine; they can be grown in almost all parts of the country and in a wide range of soil types, either with or without irrigation; in addition, the cultural methods are relatively simple. Grapes and grape products are important items in the diet of the population; with the range of varieties and of climatic conditions, fresh grapes are available from early June to mid-November; production of dibs (grapesyrup) and wines is also of importance; the price realised for fresh fruit has in the past and during the war period been generally too high to encourage raisin production. There are export trade possibilities for both fresh grapes and wines. The area under vines is now some 177 ,000 dun urns of which 86 per cent are in bearing; about the same percentage is Arab owned. Some 157 ,000 dunums are planted with table grapes (93 per cent. Arab owned) and 20,000 dunums with wine grapes (90 per cent. Jewish owned). Annual production lies between 40 and 50 thousand tons of grapes and between 3 and 4 million litres of wine. Planting of table grape varieties is still continuing, particularly in the bills, the southern plain and in the Jewish settlements generally.


20. Fig growing is another old culture and is mainly confined to the hill areas. It is important both for the fresh and dried fruit, dried figs forming one of the staple items of diet in the country. Fig growing is at present almost entirely confined to Arab farmers; the area is now some 106,000 dunnms (84 per cent. in bearing) giving a crop of about 20,000 tons of fresh fruit. In normal times about 40 per cent. of the crop is dried but during the war period all but 20 per cent. was eaten as fresh fruit or used for jam making. Since the fig can grow in rocky and relatively shallow soils and will support fairly arid conditions and since also its culture is easy, it is early bearing and the fruit is nutritious, the plantings are steadily increasing in the hilly areas.


21. The area planted to almonds in Palestine is now some 40,000 dunums, about the same as that in 1914, but the plantings are now situated in different districts. The average quality of the types grown has, however, declined and the present production of around 3,000 tons per annum is mostly from seedling trees giving hard-shelled nuts of variable sizes which are not suitable for export; the Jewish owned area is only some 1,700 dunums. The almond is now planted in the hill areas and the drier southern coastal plain and under proper cultural practices it should prove

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