Although the snow that covered Jerusalem and the Golan Heights mid-February was a sight to behold, the storm that went along with it brought great harm to Israel’s agriculture.
The damage caused by the strong winds, hail and heavy precipitation are estimated at more than NIS 25 million (€6.25 mln). Over 500 damage reports have been received from farmers and growers across the country, reports Kanat, the Israeli fund for national damage insurance in agriculture.
Most of the damage, about NIS 12 million, concerned vegetable growers. Growth tunnels and citrus orchards were severely affected. The strong winds shook the fruit trees, damaging the fruit and causing it to fall. The hail pierced the fruits, disqualifying it for consumption. In addition to all this, the tunnels were damaged, in particular the banana tunnels on Mount Carmel and in the south of Israel where the plastic sheets were torn by heavy rainfall, some even collapsing entirely.
Substantial damage was also suffered by avocado and fruit growers, who both lost more than NIS 1,23 million due to the extreme weather.
Recent years have shown a strong increase in extreme weather due to global warming. This weather is expected to cause more damage to crops in the future and consequently bring economic losses to the growers. Kanat warns that growers without insurance in particular will suffer the consequences of these heat waves or late rains.
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