Nakheel Palestine for Agricultural Investment
This summary covers an investment by Al Mashriq Real Estate Company, Palestine Industrial Estates Development Company, and The Palestinian Recycling Company (Tadweer) in Nakheel Palestine for Agricultural Investment. The investors have applied for a guarantee of $4.8 million under the MIGA-administered West Bank and Gaza Investment Guarantee Trust Fund. The guarantee will cover the investors’ $5.3 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 is a category B under MIGA’s Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability. The key potential impacts for this operation are: stress on water resources; ground and surface water pollution; soil erosion; pesticide use; crop residues and other solid waste pollution; noise and dust; workers health and safety; community health and safety and the use of security guards. These potential impacts are largely reversible and readily addressed through mitigation measures. [Click here] for a draft Environmental Assessment Report.
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 proposed 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.