LOCATION: Dura Municipality, Hebron Governorate
More than 70% of the West Bank’s livestock is concentrated in the south. As more and more Palestinians leave agriculture, citing hard work, long hours and uncertain yield, the Dura Commissary for Livestock Development has made its mission to shore up food security in the Hebron Governorate and prevent a fragile key industry from collapsing. The Dura Commissary recognized the need to reduce labor by automating agricultural processes by using advanced equipment. A 2009 Community Leadership Empowerment Program enabled the commissary to convene the right players by furnishing their offices. Two of the Dura Commissary’s strategic planning team members who used to work as agricultural engineers for the Palestinian Authority’s ministry of agriculture conducted a survey of Hebron Governorate farmers. To address the gaps they found in farmers’ skills, the commissary has designed comprehensive animal husbandry and basic veterinary training to boost the health of animals and increase their numbers. With a 2011 Community Leadership Empowerment Program award, the Dura Commissary has installed high-tech milking equipment to demonstrate to farmers the efficient approaches available to them. The Dura Commissary is taking concrete steps to ensure that Palestinian agriculture has a future that thrives.