Economical assessment of supplementary irrigation of Olive trees in Jenin District/ Palestine

Sabreen Mohammad Masoud Khdour
صابرين محمد مسعود خضور
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Al-Quds University
The growth of olive trees in Palestine considers as an important pillar of the Palestinian economy. The value of this sector is contributed to 10, 9 million US$ in 2014. This became sector become more and more fragile during the last three decades, and not profitable during the due to many reasons, one of these is the fluctuation of rainfall while most of the cultivars depend on rain-fed. The study aimed at knowing the economical assessment of supplementary irrigation of olive tree in Jenin District, where the study used the analytical descriptive method in the quantitative and qualitative aspect and the study population consist of all farmers who applied supplementary irrigation in their tree fields in Jenin District in the period 2019/2020, So that the study included a comprehensive survey of the study population of 40 farmers, 36 of whom were reached, and a questionnaire was distributed to them, as well as interviews with each of them separately. The researcher built the questionnaire and component of five paragraphs, after examining several previous studies and the tools used in them, SPSS, feasibility analysis in analyzing the results of the respondents' responses in the interview. The results showed that supplemental irrigation contributes to the growth of olive trees and increases their productivity. The irrigation of olive fields also gives a very positive economic impact on farmers, as production increases rapidly compared to the traditional one. It was noted that the land planted with irrigated olive trees was not used for cultivation before, and supplementary irrigation allowed being used efficiently. Besides, the production mechanisms used in irrigated agriculture do not differ from the traditional cultivation of olive trees, but there is a difference between irrigated olive fields based on irrigation methods, size of the area, type of tree, and age. On average 3 m3 of supplementary water/ tree was applied during the period Jun-September in six irrigation scheduling intervals. The olive oil production increased from 5.6 to 12.5 Kg/tree by using supplemental irrigation. The sustainability of the project shows that from the third year where the return on investment is 60% for freshwater and 61.5% using treat wastewater. The net profit was 808$/year.dunum for freshwater while using treat wastewater is 704$/year. dunum. The profit margin ratio of 65.5% for freshwater and 66.2% for using treats wastewater. The Net Present Values (NPV) is 3384$ when farmers invest 1,149$ using a freshwater technique with a 2.5% interest rate, for 6 years period, and he has the chance to gain total net profit of 4,470$ /dunum. Also, NPV of 3,187$ when the farmer invests 1145$ using treated wastewater irrigation, but he has the chance to gain a total net profit of 3,178$ /dunum. The study recommended that the government support land reclamation programs to enable farmers to use them to grow olive trees. Jenin Agricultural Directorate encourages farmers to grow irrigated olive trees by providing seedlings of suitable varieties and equipment, and that the Agricultural Extension Service conducts training courses for farmers on how to maintain and care for irrigated olive fields. This study recommended an effective, and sustainable method to help poor farmers to overcome the poverty condition, by providing sources of funding by government or NGO-s to irrigate a minimum area of 7 dunums. Also, the study recommended that the olive sector be pursued and led and enhanced cooperation between the public and private sectors, farmers ’associations, cooperatives, investors and NGOs interested in it by supporting wastewater treatment programs to be fit for agricultural use and provision to irrigate olive fields, and support the expansion of supplementary irrigation as much as possible, provided that Farmers follow the sound foundations of the irrigation process. Develop water harvesting techniques to meet their supplementary irrigation water needs.