Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Ellul 5766 - August 30, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Government Authorities Ask Israeli Growers to Supply All Lulavim

By Betzalel Kahn

The Plant Council recently contacted date growers in Israel to request they make concerted efforts to supply all lulavim for Succos to avoid reliance on Egyptian lulavim which can be contaminated with disease.

In recent years certain dealers have seized control of the import market and formed a cartel. Meanwhile Israeli date growers refused to sell lulavim for various reasons, including the claim cutting the branches damages the date palms.

Despite these obstacles David Marom of the Plant Council sent a letter to the country's date growers requesting they make a special effort to supply the lulavim. Marom also contacted Agricultural Ministry officials to request Israel try to persuade Egypt to increase the number of lulavim brought from el-Arish, an area relatively free of disease.

According to estimates, approximately one million lulavim are sold in Israel before Sukkos. To meet this demand hundreds of thousands of lulavim are imported from el-Arish every year. In recent years Egyptian officials created various import obstacles, saying that supplying the branches harms the date industry in Northern Sinai.

Date growers and the Plant Protection Services at the Agricultural Ministry are concerned the lack of lulavim will create heavy pressure to supply lulavim from places infested with arboreal diseases that could harm the date industry in Israel. The most common disease is biyod, which has been known to cause heavy damage to the date industry and the destruction of entire orchards in North Africa, but authorities are also concerned over the prospects of other diseases not found in Israel.

Plant Council officials say there have been a number of incidents in other areas of agriculture in which the import of a limited number of plants bearing diseases led to an outbreak of the diseases in fields and orchards, eventually causing tens of millions of shekels worth of damage to growers. Once a certain pest or plant disease arrives in Israel there may be no way to eradicate it, even if enormous resources are invested, and the situation can deteriorate to the point of the total destruction of the industry chas vesholom.


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