Contrary to prevailing opinion in the Western world, the Palestinians were responsible for the bulk of agricultural production in the country during the British Mandate. By the end of the Mandate, the total land area under cultivation by Palestinian farmers (excluding citrus) was 5,484,700 dunams (one dunam = one thousand square meters), and the area cultivated by Jewish farmers was 425,450 dunams. With regard to desert cultivation, by 1935 the Palestinians were farming 2,109,234 dunams in the Negev, whereas total Jewish landholdings in the Negev in 1946 did not exceed 21,000 dunams. Thus it was the Palestinians who made the desert bloom! The following figures and percentages for individual crops are taken from an official report of the British Mandatory government of Palestine.

Grains (1)

Grains (2)

Grains (3)

Grains (4)





Vegetable Distribution