almond2_r3bSindyanna of Galilee sells fair trade raw uncoated almonds from the Arab village of Iksal just south of Nazareth. This village is famous for its delicious almonds and their harvest is one of the best in the country. The area is especially well-suited for the crop. About 3,000 dunams (750 acres) of almond trees, both irrigated and non-irrigated, provide income for about 100 families (read the full story).

The almonds belong to a special strain called Um al-Fahem. A farmer from that village discovered it about thirty years ago. It is unique in its taste, its size and its extra soft shell. After its discovery, many Arab farmers in the area began to replace their old trees with the newly discovered strain. New groves have been planted all over, and almonds have become an essential source of living for the local farmers.

Some of the farmers in the village manage to make a living from almonds, while, for many others, the almonds form an important part of the family’s income. ”The almond project at Iksal is setting a precedent,” Dr. Fathi Abed al Hadi says. ”Following our success, there have been more attempts at organization of farmers, both in Iksal and in other Arab villages. Unfortunately, the Agriculture Ministry ignores those attempts, and misses an excellent opportunity to develop the backward Agriculture in the Arab sector. Up to know Iksal’s experience remained an exceptional and isolated project in the Arab sector in Israel.”