Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Agriculture Minister Oded Forer held a special press conference announcing the abolition and reduction of duties on various types of agricultural products.
In particular, duties will be completely abolished on vegetables and fruits that do not grow in Israel, as well as on those, a significant part of the harvest of which in Israel is exported. These included garlic, green peas, asparagus, mushrooms, dates, pineapples, avocados, raspberries, blueberries, mangoes, medlar, beans.
Duties on other vegetables and fruits will be reduced gradually over five years. In particular, the duty on tomatoes should be reduced by 90%, on potatoes – by 50%, on carrots – by 45%, on apples – by 70%.
In parallel, the Ministry of Finance promises direct payments to farmers, expansion of tax incentives, mandatory labeling of local products, lower duties on consumables (feed, fertilizers, insecticides), and an investment of 2 billion shekels in innovative agricultural technologies and increasing labor productivity.
The Ministry of Finance also plans to tighten measures to decentralize the market in the field of import, production, wholesale and retail sales of food products.
The measures announced by Lieberman and Forer will be carried out unilaterally for the time being, as the ministries have not been able to agree on a reform procedure with farmers and with the agricultural lobby. This fact will significantly complicate the implementation of the announced measures, since some of the coalition partners also oppose them.