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by Iman Joma'a Ahkello Witherspoon Womens Jersey , Omer Othmani

JERICHO, West Bank, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Over the past few weeks, Hani Ismail, Palestinian vegetable vendor from the West Bank town of Jericho, didn't import Israeli mushrooms anymore as he depends on the Palestinian mushrooms grown for the first time in the West Bank.

Amoro farm of mushrooms in Jericho is the first farm ever in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that produces such kinds of white mushrooms which is desirable in the Palestinian territories, mainly by various restaurants.

"Now I do not import any mushrooms from Israel. My customers prefer the locally-grown mushrooms," Ismail told Xinhua. "I used to import this kind of mushrooms from Israel and I used to sell three boxes every day. Now I sell 10 boxes because our mushroom is more desirable."

The idea of launching the new business of growing white mushrooms in Jericho came to the mind of Samir Khreisheh and three of his friends as they were dining at a restaurant in the town, where one of them asked "where do you get this mushroom from? And why do not we grow it up here?"

The four friends seriously considered the idea and began to study and learn more and more about growing the white mushrooms and if the weather in the town fits for growing it. It took them one year; they visited mushroom farms abroad Reuben Foster Womens Jersey , read books about it and took the Indian and Dutch style of growing it.

"White mushrooms are very sensitive and shy. Growing it needs a special environment, humidity, oxygen, carbon dioxide, special heat and certain kinds of gases. It was difficult in the beginning to ensure such kind of environment, this is why we had to deeply study every detail," Khreisheh told Xinhua.

He went on saying that after the four friends created the needed environment, "we imported the mushrooms transplants or the fungal spores from Holland, and we called it Amoro." Amoro farm includes three rooms totally isolated from the outside world Solomon Thomas Womens Jersey , he added.

"Inside each room, we use the horizontal planting on shelves provided with special irrigation system and a fully-electronically controlled atmospheric system," said Khreisheh, adding that "we have 10 workers who check the soil into the rooms and mix the fungal spores."

There are another 15 female workers who work only on picking up the mature mushrooms. He said "with respect to men, we chose women to pick up the mushrooms because their hands are softer than men's."

Restaurants and grocery stores import the mushrooms from Israeli markets; however, Khreisheh believes that this will not last for too long, adding that "we just began to produce our mushrooms few weeks ago, and we are sure that soon our products of mushrooms will compete the Israeli mushrooms."

Now, Amoro farm produces three tons of white mushrooms every month Dante Pettis Womens Jersey , and it is expected that within the coming six months, the farm will produce six tons of mushrooms per month. Khreisheh said that one box filled with 12 kilograms of white mushroom costs 13 U.S. dollars.

"Within the coming six months, we will fill the markets in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with our mushrooms," said Khreisheh.

Samah Abu Zeitoon, one of the 15 women who work on picking up the mature mushrooms on Amoro farm, told Xinhua that as a female who studies in an university, "I would certainly need money for education and for living, but also like the idea because it is my first time working in such an interesting farm."

"I work with my colleagues in the farm and we pick up mushrooms all day long," she said as she wore cloves Mike McGlinchey Womens Jersey , adding that "we use our hands and we do not use machines to pick up the mushrooms because it is very sensitive, fragile and has different sizes."

She said that some restaurants ask for a certain size of mushrooms because they use it in making special kinds of food and some others are using smaller mushrooms as pickles, adding that the process of picking up the mushrooms takes several hours "because mushrooms usually grow so fast."

Samir Samara, director general in the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, told Xinhua that his ministry encourages and backs Amoro farm in Jericho to produce mushrooms and achieve self-sufficiency, adding that "we are very much interested in producing such kinds of mushrooms with better quality."

"Once this farm is able to provide the local marker with the needed amounts of mushrooms, then I believe that our priority will be, to facilitate the export of such interesting kind of business that will certainly bring more benefits to the Palestinian economy," said samara.

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