Finance Minister Lieberman is promoting to reduce tariffs on fruit, vegetables and eggs

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Government Jul 21, 2021

The Minister of Finance, Avigdor Lieberman, and the Minister of Agriculture, Oded Forer, are promoting a plan to reduce tariffs on fruit, vegetables and eggs, with the aim of opening up the market to imports. The egg industry is currently planned and consumer prices are monitored by the state. There are imports of fruits and vegetables, which usually leads to rising prices. Tomatoes occasionally have duty-free imports to balance market prices when they are high. According to farmers, opening the market to duty-free imports will hurt agriculture in Israel - the heads of the regional councils have already announced a warning strike this coming Sunday in protest of the plan.
According to Ministry of Finance officials, the program will apply in beats and will be spread over five years. The outline will be examined annually, examining whether there is a decrease in cultivated areas.
It was also stated that: "In the plan, a broad support package for the agriculture industry that includes direct budget support for each farmer per cultivated dunam, dedicated support for the egg industry, expansion of tax benefits through a law to encourage capital investment, support for marking local produce, lowering inputs to farmers (pesticides, etc.) And an investment of over NIS 2 billion for innovation and increased productivity in the agriculture industry.In addition, investment and innovation grants will be provided for the purchase of innovative equipment and machinery and collaborations with startups.
"In addition, direct support will be given to farmers - up to NIS 40,000 per year for each egg quota holder, with priority given to farmers in the periphery. In addition, innovation grants and investments will be given to breeders over the transition to advanced chicken coops."
According to the plan, customs duties on pineapple, avocado, guava, lychee, loquat, garlic, peas, beans, beans, asparagus, truffles, figs and more will be reduced immediately. In addition, there will be a moderate reduction in tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, fresh bananas, apples, pears and peanuts, and there will be a gradual reduction in fruits such as peaches and oranges and vegetables such as celery and artichokes. There will also be a slow reduction in tariffs on frozen and canned vegetables, grape juice and juice blends.
The total direct support will be NIS 420 million per year, with direct support of NIS 100 per dunam of cultivated land. In addition, support will be updated depending on customs reduction.
In the egg industry an immediate exemption from customs duties on imports will be granted. The total support for the egg growers will be about NIS 1.1 billion until the end of the Galilee Law, which gives priority to the periphery of the Galilee. Eight ag will be given direct support for an egg up to 500,000 eggs for all quota holders by the end of 2027. In the Galilee, support will be given for quota holders up to 750,000 eggs. In addition, an additional 6.3 ag support will be provided for the Galilee swamp in accordance with the Galilee Law. The subsidies will be subject to income tax (according to the marginal tax) and no support will be given to "rich" populations.
Among the budget additions given to the Ministry of Agriculture:
* Plans for capital investments and raising productivity in agriculture - about NIS 500 million for 5 years.
* Budget for research and development and innovation in agriculture - NIS 530 million for 5 years.
Supports and investments to encourage environmentally friendly agriculture - NIS 150 million for 4 years.
* Support and investments in other areas of agriculture about NIS 665 million for two years.
Tax benefits in the Capital Investment Encouragement Law - about NIS 50 million a year.
Quotas for foreign workers - Allocation of a quota of 6,000 workers, allowing self-recruitment of foreign workers.
* Marking the produce of the country - Dedicated support for marking the marketing of local produce.
Establishment of a Royal Intelligence Research Center in Agriculture - NIS 300 million over 4 years.
Fruit and vegetable prices have soared in the past year due to the weather. Prices change every year throughout the year, depending on weather changes in Israel and around the world. According to the Ministry of Finance, importing eggs will lead to a 25% reduction in prices - NIS 840 per year per household. It is not clear whether the price will remain supervised and as a result will fall, or whether supervision will be lifted. If supervision is lifted, the Ministry of Finance has no way of knowing how much an egg mold will be sold to the consumer.
It was further argued that the regulation of fruit and vegetable imports through European standard adoption would be reduced. Today, local agriculture is protected by testing products for import so that diseases do not enter the country. For example, imported pineapple arrives in the country without leaves.
"As a result, a significant increase in the range of products is expected, so that nectarines and apricots can be consumed throughout the year and not just in the summer months. In addition, products that are currently inaccessible to the Israeli consumer, such as berries and dorian, will enter Israel," the Ministry of Finance said.
 Farmers have already expressed their disagreement with the plan. At a press conference held recently in the Ramat Negev Regional Council, the heads of the regional councils and senior officials of the agriculture industry unanimously voted for a warning strike this coming Sunday, "in protest of the announcement by the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture unilaterally "Opening the economy to importing fresh food for lentil stew and a threat to the laying industry."
The decision was made at the General Assembly of the Center for Regional Government, which represents the 54 regional councils from all over the country, from the Golan Heights to the Eilat region.
Also, the chairman of the business sector presidency referred to the package deal being formed with the Ministry of Finance and declared at the meeting that "there will be no package deal in the economy if they decide to go for agriculture and the business sector on top".

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