Residential Agricultural Cooperatives for a Sustainable Rural Development in the Area of Jericho and Jordan Valley

Discussion Committee: 
Dr.Ali Abdelhamid/supervisor
Dr.Ahmad Abu Hammad/external examiner
Dr. Ahmad Ra'fat/internal examiner
Dr.Ali Abdelhamid/supervisor
Sawsan Saleh Abdullah Salah
Sustainable rural development is considered one of the most important ways to improve the current Palestinian development situation towards an independent Palestinian state, in light of the challenges and constraints of the Israeli occupation and its control of the natural and human resources. This study aims to investigate the possibility of establishing residential agricultural cooperatives for a sustainable rural development in the area of Jericho and Jordan Valley. The thesis included the diagnosis and analysis of the reality of the area in terms of geographical, social and economic characteristics, in addition to determining the procedures and obstacles of the Israeli occupation, the economic level of the target group, and the development dimension and the requirements of housing cooperatives. Also some proposals about the creation of sustainable rural development in the study area are given. The study in its methodology relied mainly on both the descriptive and analytical methods, through the available information from relevant sources, in addition to the information gathered through the questionnaire that has been designed and tested to achieve the objectives of the research, and analyzed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The results of the study showed that there is an urgent need for the establishment of residential agricultural cooperatives in the area of Jericho and Jordan Valley, and that such cooperatives play a key role in the provision of social, economic and psychological and environmental stability, and ensuring basic social services for the target group. Therefore, they have a role in raising the standard of living, and demographic attraction, as well as attracting investment, and improve the development situation in the study area. Also, the results showed that the study area has a potential of high investment in the field of agriculture, tourism and entertainment. However, the financial abilities of most of the study sample is limited, and most of them live below the poverty line. The results also indicated that agriculture is the dominant economic activity in the study area and that there is a possibility to invest in the agricultural sector, while the Israeli settlement activities is the main obstacle to development in the territory. The study found a set of recommendations, of which the most important is the need to support the establishment of affordable agricultural housing cooperatives, with social services and basic infrastructure, and specifications commensurate with the average monthly income of the targeted households. The study suggested the construction of three agricultural housing cooperatives in the territory of the city of Jericho, and of the towns of Auja and Jiftlik. The study also recommended the development of a plan to attract population based on investments in agriculture, tourism and entertainment in Jericho and the Jordan Valley, as well as the provision of infrastructure and services that enhance stability and sustainable living. Finally, the study emphasizes the importance of joint planning in the governorate to support and protect the marginalized areas and areas classified as "C", which contributes to intensify the presence of the Palestinian population and help in the face of the challenges of the Israeli occupation.
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