Gov't approves plan for hundreds of new agriculture estates in Golan Heights

January 12, 2014 18:38

The plan will require transforming 3,000 hectares of land into agricultural fields, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

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The Golan Heights

The Golan Heights 370. (photo credit: Seth J. Frantzman)

The cabinet on Sunday approved a plan that will enable the development of hundreds of new agricultural estates on the Golan Heights in the next five years.

The plan, proposed jointly by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir, calls for the construction of 750 agricultural estates between the years 2014 and 2018.

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Aiming to strengthen agricultural activity in the region, the government is to invest NIS 275 million during this time period to prepare the lands, upgrade water systems, clear mines in the area and perform other necessary activities, the Agriculture Ministry said.

“Residents of the Golan rely heavily on agriculture as a source of income, and this decision comes with the goal of expanding employment opportunities for them and creating anchors that will strengthen their communities on the Golan,” Shamir said.

The plan will require transforming about 3,000 hectares of land near existing communities into agricultural fields, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Along with other relevant authorities, the ministry staff members will be responsible for developing a detailed plan concerning the infrastructural overhaul of the region.

In the course of these agricultural developments, the Water Authority will formulate a rehabilitation plan for the water systems of the Golan Heights, which will cost about NIS 113m. The Defense Ministry will also need to contribute toward transforming former mine fields into farming land, the Agriculture Ministry explained.

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