Chinese agriculture 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The Israeli Farmers Federation issued its 2010 agricultural production forecast
on Thursday, estimating a record-breaking NIS 26 billion.
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At the same
time, farmers’ incomes are anticipated to drop by 10 percent due to higher
expenditure costs, decreasing foreign currency rates and natural damage to the
According to the forecast produced by IFF economist Rachel
Boroshek, agricultural production will mark a 2% increase compared to 2009 and
reach NIS 26b. After deducting input costs, equipment renewal and labor wages,
the farmers are left with NIS 6b., a 10% drop from 2009. According to Borshok,
the drop is for the most part due to the increase in the cost of raw materials,
especially in the second half of the year, sharp changes in foreign currency
rates and natural damage to the produce, in particular as a result of the heat
wave that struck Israel at the end of the summer causing the loss of complete
harvests in some cases.
In recent weeks Israelis have been feeling the
losses as fresh produce prices at supermarkets have been unusually
IFF Secretary-General Avshalom Vilan said that the strong growth
indicators of agriculture in recent years prove that the eulogies over the
Israeli agriculture sector were premature.
“The dramatic rise in
worldwide agricultural production, to many people’s surprise, indicates that
agriculture will continue to be one of the strongest sectors in both the near
and distant future due to the need to feed a continuously growing population and
increasing quality of life,” said Vilan.
“The drop in farmers’ income is
a serious threat to continued growth since reduced profitability will push
farmers out of production. The Israeli farmer has a relative advantage in
agriculture because of the accumulation of knowledge that exists here,” said
Vilan urged the government to provide support for continued growth
by taking measures like insuring water quotas for farmers at fixed prices,
honoring labor agreements, providing incentives for replacement of human labor
with technology and providing protection from fluctuating
“Correct agricultural policies will lead to agriculture
becoming one of the most important sources of growth in the Israeli market and
create new jobs, especially in the periphery,” said Vilan.
annual agriculture convention is being held this coming Monday in Kfar Blum to
raise the agricultural sector on the public agenda and to mark 150 years of
Jewish farming in the region. Among the attendees will be President Shimon
Peres, Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon and Science and Technology Minister