Agri-business is an essential pillar of Israeli society, but its share in Israeli GDP is far from universal.
For years, I have been working on a book to explain how Israel is losing an important part of its economy to global competition.
Now I’m publishing a detailed analysis of how the agribusiness industry is being systematically undermined by globalisation.
The story begins with a simple story.
In the 1960s, Israel was struggling to get its farmers to use less water.
It had to feed its growing population on the land, and its dairy industry had to keep up with growing demand for dairy products from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Then in 1971, the Israeli military cracked down on farmers in the Gaza Strip who were growing produce for export, and they began to plant less water-efficient crops, which forced farmers to switch to more expensive imports.
The result was a huge drop in Israel’s grain output and a significant rise in prices for all kinds of crops, including cereals, wheat, coffee and sugar.
For Israeli farmers, this is a significant loss.
“We were in a recession and the grain output dropped, but we were able to export the grains because we could export water,” says Shlomo Zisser, a farmer in the village of Beit Aqaba.
The next year, the agro-industrial complex in Israel took a big hit as global markets dried up.
Israel’s biggest grain producer, Ammon, went bankrupt in 1976.
The agribis industry in Israel is the biggest and most profitable in the world, accounting for over 70% of the country’s total agricultural output.
And Israel’s agricultural sector was the biggest in the region, with exports worth more than $400 billion.
But the agricultural sector is a small part of Israel’s economy.
It accounts for just 0.5% of Israeli GDP.
The real problem for the agra-industrial sector in Israel lies not in its size, but in the way it operates.
Today, farmers are treated like any other businesses in Israel: They can apply for a permit to farm a certain number of hectares, but their total farming income is not capped.
So farmers often have to borrow money from their neighbors or friends to buy their produce, which can take years.
The cost of borrowing to finance the purchase of the crop is one of the most significant factors that makes up a farmer’s share in his/her family’s agricultural income.
As a result, Israeli farmers have a much lower share in the countrys economic pie.
And when they sell their produce at a premium, that’s when they are squeezed.
“The price of milk, for example, has gone up and it is not a product that will help the farmers,” says Zisset.
The price of rice, the main staple food in Israeli homes, has risen dramatically in recent years.
When farmers buy rice, they are not buying a commodity, but a form of money.
This makes it harder for them to repay their debts when their crops fail.
“In the agricultural field, the farmer can’t sell his produce and the bank cannot lend him money to pay off his debt,” says Yair Zivot, a professor of agricultural economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In a world where the global grain market is dominated by global giants like Russia and China, Israeli agriculture has largely been left behind.
In fact, Israeli farms are among the most indebted in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The reason is simple: Israeli farmers use up all the money they make in the agriculture industry, and this is the only source of income for them.
The amount of money that Israeli farmers borrow is almost entirely financed by loans from other farmers.
“For a farmer to sell his crops, he needs money from his neighbor, and that’s the same thing that is going to happen in the global market,” says Professor Zivot.
In other words, Israeli farming is not really producing any value to its farmers.
As the global commodity market has flooded Israel with grain, the farmers have had to make drastic cuts in their production.
As they are forced to sell their land and move to cheaper areas, Israeli agricultural prices have also risen.
For the most part, farmers have been left with little savings and are struggling to repay debts.
“It is a real shock when the banks won’t lend to you,” says Micky Rosenfeld, a retired farmer from the agricultural region of Aqba.
“This is a very serious situation for our farmers, but it’s also a problem for Israeli consumers.”
In addition, Israel is becoming a less attractive place to buy food.
Many farmers are being forced to take on more debt to buy the produce they need to feed their families, and some have stopped growing.
This is a major problem for Israelis, as they are already suffering from the worst drought in the history of Israel, and the international food supply is drying up.
As part of this, Israeli consumers