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Agricultural Production in Palestine Increased Greatly Since War

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The tremendous progress made by Jewish farmers in Palestine since the outbreak of the war and especially in the last year, is indicated in a report released here by the Jewish National Fund.

The statistics compiled by the J.N.F. paint a picture of steady increase in the areas under production. The potato crop, the J.N.F. figures show, increased from 2900 tons in 1939 to 13900 tons in 1942. The production of other vegetables jumped from 13300 tons to 21000 tons in the same period. The report states that two-thirds of Palestine’s total milk output, including milk products, 72 percent of the egg production, 75 percent of all vegetables and 80 percent of all potatoes came from settlements on J.N.F. land. The report also points out that Jewish farmers now plant an aggregate of 135100 dunams with citrus fruit, 18,400 with grapes, 5,200 with olives, 2,800 with bananas and 2,700 with other fruits.

Discussing the possibilities for further agricultural progress, the J.N.F. review hails a new fertilizer based on bacterial action which has recently been placed on the market here by the American Near East Corporation of Tel Aviv. With this new process, which is based on American methods, the process of soil fermentation which normally takes from eight to twelve months can be reduced to 48 hours. Experiments over the past few months indicate that the new fertilizer is practical for use in the production of both fruits and vegetables, the report says.

A report, issued by the agricultural section of the Histadruth, the Palestine Federation of Labor, on the achievements of the labor settlements in the past year states that “labor agriculture during the year under review increased its production to meet the supply requirements of both the civilian market and the army. Despite the shortage of working hands new branches of production were undertaken. In comparison with the expanded output the number of agricultural workers actually decreased, rather than increased, as a result of enlistments in the armed forces. The settlements were successful in overcoming supply shortages this year and, in contrast to 1941, poultry farming expanded. Production was also increased in settlement factories and workshops and new lines of production were embarked upon.

“Earnings were good and the settlements’ capital increased as a result of profits made. Debts were paid off in the older settlements and in some cases advance payments were made to the Keren Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund) to enable the financing of new settlements in various parts of the country, from the north to the south. On the other hand, mention should be made of larger bank credits extended and of Government loans for certain specific production purposes.”

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