About 3,000 fruit growers whose crops were damaged in severe storms 22 years ago will receive a total of NIS 50 million in compensation from the government, the Fruit Growers Association announced on Sunday.

During the winter of 1991 to 1992, storm conditions were grave enough to be deemed a natural disaster that caused heavy damage to agriculture, the FGA said. The farmers eventually were awarded NIS 180m. in compensation for heavy crop losses, but they argued that this sum did not account for inflation after many years of waiting for the money, according to the association.

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Claiming that the farmers were entitled to additional compensation, the FGA brought the case to the High Court of Justice, which eventually ruled that the growers would receive the added funds.

“A portion of the growers who were hurt are already older people, and we want them to receive the compensation during their lifetimes,” said Fruit Growers Association CEO Itzik Cohen. “The long struggle and success is further proof of the importance of the organization of farmers in a cooperative framework.”

Payments of the additional sums to the farmers will take several months to carry out due to the need to locate them and make sure that they receive the correct amounts, the FGA said. The organization asked that farmers be patient until they receive their compensation.

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