Escalating Conflict Takes a Toll on Israeli Agriculture

The ongoing conflict in the Gaza region is disrupting supply chains and jeopardizing the harvest of crucial crops. 70% of Israel's tomato crop is at risk of going unharvested, as agricultural activities come to a standstill in the southern regions.

The fields adjacent to the Gaza Strip, responsible for 70% of the country's tomato production, have suffered physical damage. The physical harm to the fields, combined with a workforce shortage and safety concerns, has halted all agriculture efforts in the areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip — an area that constitutes 70% of the country’s tomato harvest. The untended crops,  such as tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet potatoes, now lie dead in the fields and must be uprooted before the soil can be tilled anew and replanted.

The conflict has not only inflicted damage on the fields but has also disrupted logistical operations, causing delays in transportation routes. Even for the produce that manages to reach packhouses, packing rates have been adversely affected, with many operating at reduced capacity or remaining closed altogether. This disruption in the packing process raises concerns about potential shortages of fruits and vegetable exports failing to reach intended markets.

The projected shortages are expected to continue through the end of March, and a  prolonged impact on agricultural output that may extend into subsequent seasons.

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