Good news for consumers. The Ministry of Agriculture announced that for two weeks, customs duties on the importation of tomatoes from abroad will be abolished in order to prevent an increase in tomato prices due to an expected shortage.
According to the report, local farmers are furious about the move and claim that following the decision to open the market to this import, it will cause enormous economic damage to local agriculture.
“The reason for the reduction in tariffs is a trauma here three years ago, when only green and expensive tomatoes were available for the Yomim Tovim in the markets,” said Alon Alush, chairman of the Farmers & Growers’ Organization in the Negev. Instead of encouraging farmers to grow more tomatoes that will reach the markets for the holidays and lower prices, we will now depend on the whims the sultan Erdogan.”
The Ministry of Agriculture said that “the cancellation of customs duties is sweepingly on imports rather than on imports from Turkey, and it is importers who choose to import from there.” Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said in the past that he would not allow the importation of tomatoes from Turkey to Israel in light of Israel’s position, but later said that he could not force them to do so, but only to recommend importers not to do so.
Sources in the Ministry of Agriculture told Yisrael Hayom that “this is a cancellation of tariffs for two weeks only, and no local farmer will be harmed.” In addition, in 2015, the ministry and the current minister held negotiations in which it was agreed to transfer direct support to farmers. Indirect support affects the entire economy.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)