Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman is throwing a grenade into his fight with local farmers, promising to immediately remove protectionist tariffs and calling for reform of the industry.
“There’s no reason to tax imported fruits and vegetables. We’re getting rid of that immediately. The rest will come in stages,” he says at a faction meeting. “Our agriculture needs change. What’s happening in the north in the chicken coops shows that we need to progress, need to turn Israeli agriculture into a tech-level startup.”
Liberman is apparently referring to an outbreak of avian flu among poultry in Israel’s north.
Fruit and vegetable prices have skyrocketed in recent months, with farmers, distributors, supermarkets and government officials all accusing each other of marking up prices exorbitantly.