Israel Signs Deal With Jordan for Agricultural Imports During Sabbatical Year
i24 News – Israel and Jordan signed a deal on Tuesday to prioritize agricultural imports from the Jewish state’s eastern neighbor during the upcoming shmita (sabbath year) that starts in September.
The agreement was inked during a meeting at the Allenby Bridge border crossing between Israeli Agriculture Minister Oded Forer and his Jordanian counterpart Rasan al-Majali. The Israeli and Jordanian ambassadors were in attendance.
They agreed that Israel would import Jordanian produce during the biblical sabbatical year that takes place every seven years of the agricultural cycle. Shmita is mandated by the Torah and is observed in Judaism.
Israeli farmers must leave their land fallow and cease all agricultural activity for the year in order to be certified kosher.
Purchasing agricultural produce from Arab neighbors is one solution for obtaining fruits and vegetables to feed Israel’s observant Jewish population.
The ministers also discussed boosting agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
Ties between Israel and Jordan have been warming since Israel’s new government was sworn in.
The two countries last month agreed to increase Jordan’s export potential to the West Bank from about $160 million a year up to $700 million annually. Israel also agreed to sell an additional 50 million cubic meters of water to Jordan this year.