For two decades the Gaza Strip has exported millions of flowers to the West. But the situation deteriorated seriously in the past three years. Horticulturalists’ greenhouses were bombed during the war and power cuts and water shortages compounded an already difficult situation.
But the biggest obstacle has been the blockade. Growers had to wait in hope that the gates to the enclave would be opened. Meanwhile their flowers would wither and become unsellable.
Many growers preferred giving their flowers away as cattle feed rather than destroying them. Unable to export, flower growers had to turn to the local market. But Gazans, deprived of almost everything by the blockade, had little cash to spare for a luxury like flowers, forcing the farmers to sell at ridiculously low prices despite the high cost of production.” (Editor’s note: 1,000 square metres of flowers costs 6,000 euros to produce).