We are honored to announce the results of a survey that was undertaken to assess the impact of the Gaza War on Israeli farmers.
The digital survey was administered from October 26-November 5, 2023 by MIGAL’s Dr. Abramson and Haya Rak Yahalom, Manager of Israel’s Northern Research Institute (MOP Tzafon). The survey was distributed via social networks and Israeli government agricultural channels (SHAHAM), and 389 farmers from all regions of the country responded.
An abstract of the survey as summarized by Dr. Adam Abramson who conducted the research appears below:
Based on the response, 89% of Israeli farmers have experienced some form of damage, and 96% expect more during the next three months. While farmers in the Gaza and Northern regions have had the greatest disruption, all areas have been severely affected, and the impact is expected to continue for months to come.
The main challenges faced to date include significant disruption to the agricultural workforce and marketing channels. In addition, farmers located in border regions are finding it difficult to access their fields and to move their produce to market. This has resulted in an average 35% drop in production and income for Israeli agriculture as a whole, and a nearly 70% drop in production and income for farms near Gaza.
The response to our questions confirmed what we suspected: the Gaza War is having a devastating impact on Israeli agriculture. The industry’s ability to recover will depend on our ability to implement creative solutions that assure a steady workforce, that open new marketing channels and that secure daily access to the farms themselves.
Assuring such basic conditions will require out-of-the-box thinking and quick action from all involved. Farmers are calling on the government to remove roadblocks: to lighten restrictions on recruiting foreign workers, to provide financial incentives and training for Israeli workers, and more. They also appeal to the government to declare food security a national priority, to implement subsidies, to reduce the price of water, to increase the availability of pesticides and other inputs, and to create national marketing initiatives.