Activity in the district
· Planning and developing means of production suitable for the topo-climatic area.
· Strengthening the settlements in the North by adding means of production in the Moshavim.
· Handling indirect war damages, while cooperating with the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Authority (property tax).
· Handling water assignments for agriculture.
· Assisting in the development of agricultural production infrastructure in order to adjust it to the needs of the farms.
· Training and guidance for farmers concerning their regular activities in the farms.
· Assisting with the allocations of foreign workers for agriculture.
· Assisting with opening new markets for export of agricultural produce (for example, exporting apples to Syria).
· Assisting in removing limitations faced by the farmers, according to the different planning plans.
· Planning and developing rural development plans.
· Assessing an Avian Influenza scenario.
· Individually handling the different needs of farmers.
· Planning and assisting with soil conservation (pasture, cattle for the production of meat, and so on)
The district is engaged in rural development activity for the purpose of creating alternative income sources in addition to agriculture. The profitability of agriculture is limited, a higher level of professionalism is needed than in the past, there is a transition to larger cultivation lands, and many turn to developing additional income sources in the settlements. In 2006, 30 million NIS were allocated for this activity and in 2007, 40 million NIS were allocated.
Subjects handled in the field of rural development
· A strategic plan for the Regional Councils.
· Rural development outline plans for the settlements.
· Developing income sources that are complementary to
agriculture, for example: boutique vineyards, domestic
creameries, oil press, factories for processing produce.
· Plans for turning settlements into tourist villages.
· Developing tourism - bicycle routs, hiking routes and so
Treating damages caused by the 2nd Lebanon war
During the Second Lebanon war, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance worked together to create formulas for compensations for indirect damages, after compensations for the direct damages were decided upon and paid. According to the Land and Property laws, only borderland settlements are entitled to claim indirect damages, but in this case the government decided to compensate the farmers in the North for indirect damages.
A number of compensation tracks were determined according to the location of the settlements and their distance from the Lebanon border:
Green track - compensation for the fields whose picking date was at the beginning of the war, according to the restricted areas defined during the war.
Red track - compensation to borderland settlements according to the type of crop that was supposed to be picked during the war and the crops that were supposed to be picked after the war ended. In addition, compensations were determined for the rest of the agricultural industries, such as: poultry, dairy farms, field crops, fish and flowers.
This track also accredited borderland settlements with benefits.
The cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance manifested itself on a few levels: