Akub season is a source of income for hundreds of workers

The Akubi factory is a good source of income for hundreds of workers in the agricultural sector over a period of at least two months. Despite this, workers can be exposed to many risks during the search, selection and preparation stages of acubia for sale in markets.

Akoub is a perennial wild herb that has been used for more than 2000 years. It has thick roots from which the plant grows in every season. Its finding is distinguished by its center, which appears in several colors, including: red , yellow, and purple.Dry gradually over the summer.

Akoub is also used as a popular dish; Fry the head with olive oil and then boil it with lemon juice.

In their conversations with the Labor Observatory, the agricultural workers confirm that it is a good source of income, albeit temporary, during the period February-April and covers their expenses and families during the season.

Jamila Al Samirat (52 years old) has been working in Akoub’s harvest for more than 20 years and considers it the “season of hunting and kindness”. After her husband died in 2000, she used Al Akoub as a source of income for her and her family of three.

Al-Sumairat begins searching for the akob in the mountainous areas near her home in the northern Jordan Valley.

The situation is different when she goes to distant places, such as the mountains of Ajloun, Karak and Shobak, leaves the house at two in the morning, “I go with my relatives and neighbors, climb the mountains and start looking for Akub. , and at eleven o’clock in the morning we finish our work. ”

The distance of the road varies according to the destination where you are going, and the fare of the trip varies from three to six dinars, “When we go to the mountains of Karak and Shobak, we arrive at six in the morning.”

And as soon as he returns home and does not rest, he begins to remove the thorns from his veins, “I clean it and weigh it so that the merchant may come and buy it for two and a half dinars per kilogram and sell it in the markets for four or five dinars.” .

Al-Samirat receives 16 dinars a day and says her health condition prevents her from earning more as she suffers from high blood pressure and knee pain.

She points out that a number of families consider Akub as their main and only source of income, “People come from different areas of Madaba, Zarqa and others to look for Akub, as only 50 families from the area where I live depend on Season Akub. “

Al-Sumairat explains that, earlier, she worked on a farm to produce akoub, “the farm owner planted approximately 15 akoub dunums”, which means that cultivating and propagating the akub is one of the most successful crops that can provide temporary employment opportunities. for a good number of agricultural workers.

As for Abd al-Rahman al-Saqr, he is looking forward to the season of Akub, “from year to year” and is the only source of livelihood for him and his wife. For fifteen years he works in the harvest. Eagles.

Al-Sager told the Labor Observatory that he and his wife cooperate in this work: “I go and get the eagle and bring it home, and my wife removes the thorns and prepares it for sale.”

Al-Saqer’s wife, Ahlam Melhem, confirms that when he returns home, she starts working; “I put on the gloves, I start peeling the skewers and cleaning them from the thorns, the work can take up to five hours and more and when I finish the work, we talk to the trader to come and get the full quantity.”

Sokoli says that they receive 35 dinars every day that he goes to collect eagles, “in season we collect more than 700 dinars”.

He shows that he suffers from sensitive skin, and shows caution when choosing the eagle, but suffers from “great weight loss during that period, due to walking for hours and long distances and climbing steep mountains”.

For his part, Mithqal Al-Zinati, head of the independent union for male and female workers in the agricultural sector, says hundreds of workers benefit from the Akub season as a source of income, which could be a major source of income for some of them. .

He continues the conversation with the Labor Observatory, saying: “The spring season is the right time for Akub and continues until the end of April. “Usually the kilogram is sold for two dinars, but the amount collected varies, so the amount collected by the workers also varies.”

He explains that the plant ‘Akoub grows and multiplies in wild areas and rugged and uncultivable mountains.

Although the akob offers a good source of income, workers can face many risks, including: the sharp thorns of the akub, and because of the rugged and steep mountains, workers may be exposed to slips and breaks, or even attacks by predators such as stray dogs and hyenas.

In light of this, Al-Zinati claims that workers may suffer injuries resulting from the use of sharp tools such as knives, scissors and other tools used in assembly, but most accidents are slips and fractures.

As Al-Samirat points out that she wears gloves to avoid being exposed to the danger of thorns and sharp tools, “Although I wear two pairs of gloves for dangerous work, the thorns sometimes get into my hands and the thorns and thistles are harsh.”

He explained to the Labor Observatory that she was frequently attacked by predators and had miraculously surrendered. “Once in the Oyoun al-Dib area of ​​Madaba, a hyena attacked me and the group and saved us from fleeing to the other side of the area, and again a predatory dog ​​attacked me and a shepherd in that area rescued me. from him. “

On the other hand, compared to previous years, the presence of arachnids in nature has decreased; Due to the wrong methods of some people in harvesting oaks, which affects the environment as well as the income of hundreds of workers.

Al-Sumairat claims that some of these people use the ax and cut the akub from its roots, which prevents it from growing again, and this “damages the environment and affects our livelihood”.

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