Israel's Finance Minister Avraham Shochat has approved an immediate assistance of £7.75m for farmers that have suffered a significant decline in returns due to the strengthening of the Israeli shekel and the weakening of the euro. It is estimated that the decline in revenues to Israeli exporters of fresh and processed food, citrus and flowers, amounts to £80m for the previous and current seasons. Mr Shochat called to establish an interministerial committee for preparing a long-term strategy to assist exporters of agricultural products. He noted that the areas most severely affected were the Arava, the Jordan Valley and the Negev, "where millions of shekels had been invested to establish modern and intensive agricultural infrastructure." Almost all the residents in these regions are engaged in agricultural production, mainly for export.