Israel-Gaza War, Agriculture

Agricultural Ministry tries to encourage mechanization to deal with worker shortfall 

In addition to working on bringing in workers to replace those who left after October 7, the government is recommending new efficiency measures.

Foreign workers in Israeli fields. (Photo: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The departure of tens of thousands of foreign workers from Israel since October 7 has left local agriculture in a bind. In addition to working to bring in replacement workers from other countries, the Agricultural Ministry has issued recommendations for improving and maintaining mechanization of agricultural work.

The recommendations include suggestions for tractor maintenance, recommendations for machines for better sifting of vegetables, and a new type of insecticide sprayer for vineyards.

In addition to approving another 10,000 foreign workers to replace those who left, the Agricultural Ministry has also approved the issuing of 2,000 permits for hiring foreign workers, so farmers can expand their fields and not just remain constrained to their existing acreage.

The government has struggled to fill the gap left by foreign workers in agriculture, construction, and caretaking who either left the country or are barred from it due to being Palestinian and considered a security threat. The Foreign Ministry has been negotiating with multiple countries, including India, to try and fill in the gaps.

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