Israeli govt. seeks to settle crisis in agriculture sector

At the conclusion of a month of turmoil, full with widespread protests and extensive press coverage, Israeli farmers register a symbolic victory. The finance ministry has agreed to form a joint committee with the agriculture ministry and the Israeli farmers union to outline the core issues faced by farmers and draft proposals to improve the conditions for Israel’s agriculture sector. The forming of this committee will be accompanied by guarantees by the government to set aside financial resources to back up the proposals made by the committee.

This move is a response to dozens of protests staged by farmers and their supporters in various locations around Israel, with the goal of opposing government legislation proposals that would harm a variety of agricultural operations. The protests, helped by a successful advertising campaign, garnered considerable attention from the public and the press; this likely caused the government to react and open the dialogue with the representatives of the agriculture sector.

The first progress between the government and the protesting farmers was made in recent days after the minister of agriculture and rural development, Uri Ariel, and the finance minister, Moshe Kahlon, personally met to discuss the topic. That meeting was followed by several meetings between representatives of the finance ministry and the heads of the farmers union, the head of the rural settlements union, and the head of the kibbutzim movement, who were among the leaders of the farmers’ protests.

As a condition to establishing the joint committee, the participants agreed on a framework for negotiations which outlined the core issues at hand. The timeline set for the results of the committee is not more than a few months, at which point the results should be final and actionable.

Source: israel.agrisupportonline.com



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