Bringing Back Original Wheat Varieties

Since its establishment, Canaan Palestine works towards empowering Palestinian farming communities to continue their service to the land and embrace the wider cultural value of the farming practice. This social content guides our economic activities to protect farming and its capacities to be sustainable ecologically and economically by guiding responsible farming practices and increasing the value returns to the farmers.

In 2016, Canaan Palestine launched a project to restore the original strains of Palestinian wheat in an effort to produce organic wheat.  Several landrace varieties of wheat were collected from farmers such as Nursi, Camel tooth, Al-Baraka, Heati Samra, Heati Baida, Abu Fashi, Ghazawi, and Hourani. 

After studying and evaluating different wheat species over the course of three harvest seasons in collaboration with farmers, Canaan Palestine embarked on a program to propagate three main varieties, Heati Samra, Al-Baraka, and Camel Tooth as they were proven to add economic and agricultural value. 

As a result, “The Original Wheat Cultivation Program” was founded,

which granted farmers the opportunity to obtain seeds free of charge under the condition to plant these seeds organically and return the amount granted after the harvest so it can be advanced to new farmers the next season.  

Through this program, authentic strains of wheat were placed back in the hands of the farmers as well as local bakeries and Palestinian homes.  The program is intended to strengthen the resilience of family farming by providing farmers with better value return on their crops, food security for the community, and supporting food sovereignty. In addition, making the original wheat available for local consumption contributes tremendously to the health of the community as all these crossbred or GMO wheats are associated with several health problems. These original varieties help farmers maintain their organic and sustainable agricultural traditions as they are more resilient and natural to their own environment

After five years of successful progress in the program to restore the original varieties of local wheat, Canaan Palestine calls for the First Wheat Festival to be a point of cultural valorization at the national level to protect the integral authenticity of our food, environment and society.

“Al Qamhu Yajmauna”

Wheat brings us together

Driven by the cultural proverb, Al Qamhu Yajmauna, wheat is an essential element in our lives, granted we worked on maintaining the authenticity of its cultivation. Wheat brings us together as a community.  It brings us together with our deep history and agricultural heritage, together with our land, environment, future, and cultural aspirations.

We will honor the Wheat and celebrate our successes to help us reach newer levels of success, and advancement and expand the intellectual resonance of the program to the wider cultural community at the national level and disseminate the experience. The festival will be held in Al-Jalama field, in Marj Bin Amer, which is one of the first meadows on earth that cultivated wheat tens of thousands of years ago.

“Qmh eu zeit amar el bait”

Wheat and olive oil are the life of the home

Canaan empowered and enabled the Palestinian farmers to protect and preserve the olive crop, and now we are paving the way for farmers to reach the same advancements and revitalizing the wheat crop. As these two main stable crops thrive, so does the life of Palestine, our home.

Dr. Nasser Abufarha

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