Twelve years after the disengagement, the largest producer of “Gush Katif” vegetables – the leafy vegetables that are grown hydroponically to reduce infestation by insects – has opened a new, state-of-the-art facility in the Negev. In a festive ceremony, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel inaugurated the new Chasalat-Alei Katif facility in the Negev.
The new facility is located in the Noam Industrial Park in the western Negev. Speaking at the event, Chasalat-Alei Katif CEO Eliezer Berret said that the disengagement had interrupted the business, but that within a year the company had recovered, producing 70 percent of the output that it had produced before the 2005 disengagement. The new facility is set to increase production significantly, he said, with the company investing NIS 80 million in it.
Joining Ariel at the event was Chief Rabbi Harav David Lau, mayors of local Negev authorities, and industry officials. “The happiness at this event is not limited to the company but to all of us,” said Ariel. “You can see that by the large crowd of people at this event who have nothing to do with this business. It is especially important for all those who keep kosher.”