A professional workshop on olive oil was conducted for 28 senior farmers, agronomists and Palestinian guides between March 9 and March 11, 2010.
The workshop is part of a widespread process being undertaken by the Civil Administration to promote the training and develop professional skills by studying with Israeli counterpart specialists. The workshop was initiated and funded by the Civil Administration and featured senior lecturers from the field. The Civil Administration also authorized and coordinated the entry, accommodation and meals for the Palestinian participants. The objectives of the workshop were the presentation and implementation of new technologies in the field, familiarity with the factors influencing the quality of olive oil, study of innovations and research contributing to the industry, efficient use/treatment of olive press waste products and enhancing the professionalism of all those involved in the industry.
During the workshop, lectures were delivered by senior lecturers and bodies in the olive oil industry from the Israel Olive Oil Board, the Faculty of Agriculture, the Jewish National Fund, the Neve Ya’ar Research Center, Ben-Gurion University, the Volcani Center and others.
Among the subjects addressed by the speakers at the workshop were an analysis of global trends of olive oil production and consumption, the enhancement of olive oil quality in traditional groves, overview of the olive oil industry both in Israel and in Judea and Samaria, various influences on the quality and makeup of olive oil and the study of the characteristics of oil press waste products and their reuse possibilities.
Throughout the workshop, extremely supportive reactions were heard from the Palestinian farmers regarding the workshop’s organization, the new knowledge acquired and their exposure to the range of vital topics and research that will contribute greatly to the advancement of the olive oil industry.
The staff officer for agricultural affairs in the Civil Administration, Mr. Samir Maudi, summarized: “This kind of workshop contributes greatly to the close connection with the Palestinian side and is a direct continuation of the productive cooperation that exists and will continue to exist between us and the Palestinians in this field. Past experience has taught us that the more we assist in developing the olive oil industry, considered one of the backbones of Palestinian agriculture, the more we cultivate the Palestinian economy.”