Agri-Food Supply Chain Management Analysis in Palestine (Jenin & Tubas Governorates)
Mohammad Taysir Mohammad Qabha
محمد تيسير محمد قبها
The agricultural sector is one of the sectors on which the local economy is based and constitutes a main source of support. The agricultural sector is characterized by the large number of operations accompanying the production process and the large number of parties involved in this process. With the importance of this sector in providing the source of food for humans, but also characterized by instability and uncertainty. Agricultural activity in Palestine is more than a practice for what the land means for the Palestinian citizen. However, with many of the problems facing agriculture in Palestine, the scarcity of resources, the difficulty of access to it, the harassment of the Israeli occupation and the weakness of government capabilities including financial and legal sides. The decline in the productivity and efficiency of the agricultural sector and the emergence of problems such as inadequate local products and fluctuations in product prices appeared to be apparent. This study is intended to investigate the causes of rising production costs through the so-called agricultural supply chain. The aim of the study is to analysis the current agricultural supply chain in the study area and to identify the reasons for the high production costs, in addition to the importance of applying information technology in raising the efficiency of the agricultural sector and clarifying the responsibilities required by the regulators of agricultural work. The agricultural sector in Palestine is characterized by its overlapping with the Israeli agricultural sector. This overlap has a great impact on the Agri-food Supply Chain Management in Palestine, in addition the agriculture sector suffer from other other problems including water scarcity, Israeli control of the agriculture land in area ‗c‘ and weak supervision by those responsible for the agricultural sector due to lack of resources iv and lack of attention to the use of information technology (IT) in dissemination of the desired data and information needed to improve the efficiency of agri-food supply chain management. The rising of production cost as a result of these problems facing the agriculture sector has been disturbing the Palestinian farmers and is a burden on consumers at the same time, and therefore emerged interest in the implementation of the Agri-food supply chain to regulate intra-processes within the supply chain and find effective solutions to high production costs. The study was conducted to analyze the reality of the Agri-food supply chain management and its components in the study areas. The study focused on Jenin and Tubas areas for the, which are considered the basket of the West Bank for the most agricultural crops. The study adopted analytical and exploratory descriptive methods to understand the status of the agri-food supply chain management and the nature of the relationship between the components ( suppliers, farmers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers) of the chain. The method of interviewing was adopted as a research tool in addition to the observation method. The search tool is designed to show the relationship between the components of the supply chain horizontally and between the components of the chain and the elements of the chain vertically, noting that the elements of the supply chain are production, inventory, transportation, location and information. Through the discussion of the responses of the interviewees and their analysis, the results of the study were obtained through the adoption of the previous studies and their results as a reference. v The study reached the following; there is an agri-food supply chain management in the study areas but it is weak and fragile. And their adoption of traditional administrative methods that do not upgrade to the modern methods used in previous studies, weak confidence and data transfer between components of the supply chain, weak scientific research in the field of agriculture, whether scientific or administrative skills acquired by the components of the chain, Lack of prior vision or planning of the agricultural process by farmers, which leads to the emergence of variation in production processes, both in quantities or crops produced. The study confirmed in its recommendations on the following; build national team comprising both the Ministry of Agriculture, academics and representatives of farmers, explain the concept and importance of applying the agri-food supply chain management, build-up a database that includes all parties to the agricultural process and adoption of information technology as a tool for disseminating data among all parties, the most important step is the enactment of laws and legislation to ensure implementation of agri-food supply chain management.