Produce lettuce crops farming 370.
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Agriculture Ministry and the Tax Authority have approved a plan to
compensate farmers in the Gaza Strip vicinity whose crops received indirect
damage due to Operation Pillar of Defense in November, the ministry announced on
There are about 550 working farmers within the border area, a
significant portion of whom will submit compensation requests under this
expedited, “fast-track” compensation program – about the same number who
submitted such requests during Operation Cast Lead four years ago, the ministry
said. The amount of compensation will be based upon crop type and professional
expense calculations determined by the ministry.
The compensation formula
differentiates between farmers who were slated to harvest crops during that
period and therefore had to cease operations, and those who were not in
crop-picking season and suffered more from day-to-day crop care, the ministry
explained. Following this normative compensation model, the farmers will be able
to receive the compensation amounts allotted to them without unnecessary delays,
according to the ministry. It is critical that this segment of the country’s
agricultural sector receive their compensation, as security officials had
instructed them to avoid working their farmlands during Operation Pillar of
Defense, the ministry stressed.
“The process of submitting applications
is easy, and I hope we finish transferring the compensation money in a very
short time, thus limiting the economic damage caused to farmers during Operation
Pillar of Defense,” said Yossi Yishai, director-general of the Agriculture
Israel’s Gazan border region – the areas of the Eshkol, Hof
Ashkelon, Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Hanegev Regional Councils – are quite
literally the “vegetable basket” of the country, with some 1,100 hectares of
tomatoes, 400 hectares of peppers and 200 hectares of herbs and spices, the
ministry stressed. About one-third of these vegetables are grown for export.
Also in the region are about 6,000 hectares of potatoes (about half for export),
2,000 hectares of carrots, 300 hectares of sweet potatoes (about half for
export) and 1,000 hectares of radishes (mostly for export).
to the vegetables, the region also features about 550 hectares of flowers and
house plants, almost all of which are exported, the ministry said.
the conflict, an organization called the Institute for Resolving Conflict in
Agriculture at the Israel Loss Adjusters Association had worked with farmers to
provide them free financial counseling.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture
Ministry, the Home Front Command and Defense Ministry pooled their resources to
build an additional 100 bomb shelters in the South’s agricultural areas, to
enable some work with cattle, in greenhouses and in open fields to go on, and
continue to provide the nation with food.