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Israel: Series of meetings to discuss organic matters

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The organic sector in Israel has been booming with an estimated growth of 30 % in the past year - an increase of about 5 % from the average annual growth rate in the past years. IBOAA (Israel Bio-Organic Agriculture Association), with 400 farmers cultivating about 7,000 hectares of organically grown crops, reported that organic farming in Israel accounted for about 1.5 % of the total agricultural production and that there were about 10% of fresh products exported as of October 2007.

Members of the Knesset's Economic Affairs Committee have started to discuss legislation aiming at regulating organic production in Israel. Three different sets of regulations are discussed during a series of meetings: sale and production of organic produce, regulations for a monitoring and supervising authority on organic goods, and determining which materials, chemicals and treatments are or are not allowed on produce considered organic.

The proposed rules include that the farmers will be required to submit paperwork before transferring their fields to organic production and letting non-organic fields lie fallow before transferring to new farming methods. The regulations will restrict the types of fertilizers and other substances applied to the plants on the fields, and farmers will also have to use separate irrigation systems. Additionally the regulations stipulate that the crops can only be grown in the ground (except of sprouts and mushrooms) and not through alternative methods. Packaging has to be made of specific materials that are less likely to leave chemical substances on the produce.



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