Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter (Likud) visited agricultural farms in the Binyamin Regional Council, and voiced how impressed he was by his conversation with the local farmers.
Dichter visited the Binyamin Regional Council accompanied by Binyamin Regional Council chairman Israel Ganz, Agriculture Ministry Director General Oren Lavi, and other officials.
During their visit, Minister Dichter toured a farm in the Binyamin region, where he was introduced to the local residents, and heard from them about life on the farm. He was impressed by the personal and family sacrifice for the sake of safeguarding state lands.
"We came here to learn up close about the agricultural farms, which I view as the best guards over Israeli state land in Area C," Dichter said. "There are no better guards than hundreds of sheep, tended by an Israeli shepherd, of course. This has to be duplicated, as it has tremendous advantages. All the government ministries are aware of the significant advantages of such farms, and they should be encouraged and enlarged in an orderly fashion, as is being done here in Binyamin."
Ganz added: "We are in one of the greatest wars that the State of Israel has known in the struggle over our state lands."
"The agricultural farms prevent the strangulation of the Jewish towns and of the country. We see the utmost importance in developing agricultural farms, relieving the towns of the dangers of existential strangulation that threatens to harm us.
"We should support the farmers throughout the Binyamin region, who are dedicating themselves in this holy work for the development and preservation of the Land of Israel."
Dichter and Ganz also discussed several strategic issues for the development of the land in Binyamin, including an "efficient cultivation" plan for allocating agricultural land through the Israel Lands Authority, the construction of a water reservoir adjacent to the community of Amichai in the Shilo bloc – which could reduce consumption of potable water by about 60% – and a comprehensive plan for the development of the rural areas in Binyamin.
The tour included visits to the region’s agricultural-scholastic farm in the town of Adam, agricultural areas adjacent to Kochav Hashahar, and the vineyards on Givat Harel.
At the end of the visit, a professional discussion was held, led by Ganz and Dichter, with the participation of farmers who live in the Shiloh area of Binyamin, the Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture, and teams from the Ministry of Agriculture and Binyamin Council. The farmers explained the challenges facing them, and the bureaucratic blocks, which if resolved, would improve the agricultural produce throughout Binyamin.