Israel signs emergency wheat agreement with Romania

Tel Aviv: In a bid to fortify Israeli food security, Minister of Agriculture, Avi Dichter, signed a memorandum of understanding with Romanian officials in Bucharest on Sunday to provide wheat during emergencies.

The agreement marks the fourth pact in Israel’s strategic initiative, “Treat the Wheat,” to secure emergency wheat supplies. In exchange, Israel will provide Romania with agricultural technology and knowledge.

“In this period of global uncertainty and severe geopolitical conflicts in our region, this agreement, born out of common interests, will allow Israel an additional import channel, especially in times of emergency,” Dichter said.

The agreement with Romania follows similar accords with Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Morocco, all aimed at diversifying Israel’s wheat import sources.

Israel’s “Treat the Wheat” initiative was launched in the aftermath of global wheat shortages stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Israeli agriculture is facing staggering losses in production and manpower. Before October 7, Israel had 29,900 foreigners, mostly Thais, working in farms, orchards, greenhouses and packing plants. Israeli workers who might have filled the gaps have been called up for military reserve duty while Palestinian laborers are currently banned as security risks. The Israeli government is turning to India and other countries to address the labor shortfall.

During his visit, Dichter also met with his Romanian counterpart, Florin-Ionut Barbu, Romanian Jewish community leader Silviu Vexler and leaders of the Israel-Romania Chamber of Commerce. (ANI/TPS)


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