Almonds from Iksal

Product: Almonds
Producer: Abd el-Hadi Family, Almond Growers
Location: Iksal (near Nazareth)

Sindyanna has been buying almonds from the Abd el-Hadi family from the Arab village of Iksal, not far from Nazareth since 2009. With 12,000 inhabitants, Iksal is famous for its delicious almonds. With some 3,000 dunams (750 acres) of almond trees, both irrigated and non-irrigated, the area is optimally suited for this crop, providing livelihood for approximately 100 families.

In 1992, Dr. Abd el-Hadi, an Iksal resident, a graduate of the Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot, and the son of one of the village's farmers, established, in tandem with other local farmers, the Irrigation Cooperative Society in Iksal, whose goal was to obtain water quotas for the agricultural lands in the village. Currently, the cooperative has 125 members, and the land owned by the members totals about 617 acres. Thanks to the cooperative dedication, perseverance and work, in 2001 the Water Authority approved a water quota for irrigation of 600 thousand cubic meters of recycled water and a pipeline was installed. Today, the main crops grown in the irrigated fields are almonds (60%) alongside olives.

The almonds grown by the Abd el-Hadi family are of the special Um al-Fahem strain, named after the farmer from Um al-Fahem village that discovered it about thirty years ago. The Um al-Fahem strain is distinguished by its unique taste and its extra soft shell. Following its discovery, many Arab farmers in the area opted to replace their old trees with the newly discovered strain. Thus, new groves have been planted through and through, and almonds have become an essential source of livelihood for the local farmers. The almonds are harvested and peeled in Iksal, and then they are sent to the warehouse of Sindyanna of Galilee for packaging.