On September 29, 2011 and June 14, 2012, the MIGA-administered West Bank and Gaza Investment Guarantee Trust Fund issued guarantees supporting Nakheel Palestine for Agriculture Development. The guarantee holders are Mashriq Real Estate Company, Palestine Industrial Estate Development Company, The Palestinian Recycling Company (Tadweer), and Siraj Palestine Fund. The guarantees, totaling $6.6 million, are covering the investors’ $5.03 million equity investment in Nakheel for a period of up to 10 years against the risks of expropriation and war and civil disturbance.
The project involves the development of two Medjool palm farms in Jericho by Nakheel. The two main products that will be produced by the farms are Medjool dates and Medjool seedlings. Nakheel will plant the palm trees and harvest them. The company plans to have its own packing and storage house by 2012. It is envisaged that 20 percent of the project’s production will be supplied to the local market while the remaining 80 percent will be exported mainly to the European market.
The project will help revitalize the agriculture sector in the West Bank and Gaza. It will be the first large-scale project for Medjool dates. Currently, most Palestinians who are cultivating Medjool dates and palms are smallholder farmers. It will also contribute to the West Bank and Gaza’s foreign exchange earnings as it is expected to export a large portion of the production internationally. The project will be employing 33 permanent workers and 130 temporary workers.
This project is also aligned with MIGA’s objective of facilitating investments in conflict-affected environments as well as entities eligible for assistance from the International Development Association.