"The shortage in tomatoes will continue until the beginning of December," Ministry of Agriculture director general Shlomo Ben-Eliyahu told the Knesset's Economics Committee today in a debate about food shortages in recent weeks that have included fruit and vegetables as well as fresh beef and poultry. "Farmers can only produce about 50% of demand," he added.
The shortages on the shelves are a disgraceful occurrence," said MK Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union), the chairman of the committee. Even before the committee convened Cabel put out a statement saying that he viewed the situation very gravely and that he intended investigating the truth of the situation and pointing a finger at those responsible for it. Cabel recalled that the committee had already discussed the matter two months ago an warned about shortages and price rises during the Holidays period but despite his warning not enough had been done to prevent this serious situation.
the meeting was attended by Ben-Elyahu and other representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture as well as farmers, poultry growers, dairy farmers, retail chain representatives, consumer organizations, and officials from the Finance, Health and Economy Ministries.
Attempts to attribute blame for the situation resulted in statements by all concerned that they has prepared appropriately for the situation. A representative of the rabbinate was present to explain that contrary to reports, ritual slaughter of kosher meat had been carried out during the intermediary days of the Sukkot holiday.
MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union) blamed the Ministry of Finance and said that its over intervention in import and other procedures, undermined planning. He said, "Farmers must be in touch with God and Ministry of Finance officials, and both are difficult."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 12, 2015
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