Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Post of the Day" - Israel's Agricultural Achievements - by Dr. Reuven Reuveni

August 7, 2011

by Dr. Reuven Reuveni

DID YOU KNOW -  One cultivated dunam of land in Israel today yields 30 times more than in other countries

Israel’s Agricultural Achievements for the benefit of the world:

Israeli techniques are helping to alleviate hunger and thirst. Despite a water shortage, and sometimes because of it, Israel has attained a long list of international achievements in agriculture, some of which are helping to conserve water theall over the world and some which are likely to help find a solution to Third World hunger.

Top priority: Solutions to the water crisis in Israel and worldwide
The availability of water on the earth is diminishing, due to many factors including skyrocketing population growth – there were less than two billion people at the beginning of the 20th century and close to eight billion people today and the consuming of much more water per person today than ever before. Israel has for many years been distributing technologies and methodologies throughout the world that support efficient use and conservation of water, ranging from drip irrigation systems to water reclamation and recycling. Today Israel is focusing its main efforts on increasing water resources through the desalination of seawater.
Invented in Israel: Drip irrigation which helps reduce hunger and save water
In 1955, Israeli engineer Simcha Blass developed the drip irrigation system.
Thise method of irrigating through helps reduce world hunger by increasing agricultural yield while saving water.
Increased number of trees
The lack of water from natural resources is a permanent reality in Israel, and yet yet Israel is the only country in the world boasting a higher number of trees at the beginning of the 21st century than at the beginning of the 20th century. This is the result of investing in the land and seeking to improve its water economy. By prioritizing agricultural research, Israel has become a world leader in land reclamation and water management and today serves as a mentor for dozens of other nations.

One cultivated dunam of land in Israel today yields 30 times more than in other countries
The following fact is yet more proof of Israel’s high agricultural capabilities: one cultivated dunam of land in Israel yields up to 30 times more than a dunam of land in the average agricultural country.
This could constitute a huge contribution to the problem of hunger afflicting more than half of humanity, and is thanks to over 60 years of continual research.
Israel is among the world leaders in seed production and fruit and vegetable variety development
  • In the mid 1990s, Israeli research institutes, led by Prof. Nahum Keidar and Prof. Haim Rabinowitz, developed a strain of cherry tomato that has gained international success and is sold across the globe. All the tomato varieties developed by Prof. Keidar are now grown in dozens of countries, from Europe to Mexico and from South Africa to Morocco and Iran. The seeds for these varieties are produced exclusively in Israel.
  • Melons of the Galia variety were developed at the Volcani Institute and became market leaders in Europe.
  • Israeli spices command 60-70% of the European spice market.
  • The “Or” variety of citrus fruit, considered every agriculturalist’s dream because of its resilience to disease, easily removed peel and almost total lack of seeds, was developed in Israel at the Volcani Institute and is marketed throughout Europe. The rights were sold and the strain we developed is now grown in Spain and other European countries.
  • Israel markets special varieties of daffodils and buttercups to all of Europe.
  • Israel has developed many varieties of high-yield grapes for consumption.
  • Israel has developed techniques and special strains of fruits that grow out of season and are marketed worldwide, such as strawberries, persimmons and raspberries

The Agricultural Research Organization ARO), the research arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, responsible for nearly 75 percent of all nationwide agricultural researchconducted in IsraelThis research aims to improve existing agricultural production systems and to introduce new products, processes and equipment, thereby ensuring the basis of Israel's future agriculture.
The ARO has an extensive research infrastructure that supports both basic and applied research, conducted by more than 200 Ph.Dscientists and 300 engineers and techniciansThese workers are organized into six institutes located on the main campus at Bet Dagan, and in two regional research centers in the north and south of the country. Numerous  ARO developments, particularly, irrigation, arid zone and desert agriculture
Sand unique varieties of fruits, vegetables and ornamental have been commercialized in Israel for the benefit of the world population.

Israel is teaching the Third World to make the shift to community agriculture
African countries, wishing to export agricultural products to the world, are seeking successful models to increase their productivity. Since the kibbutzim and moshavim in Israel are a model of community agriculture and of an economic and democratic community which maintains social solidarity, African states view Israel as a successful, inspiring model for developing commercial agricultural communities.

Israeli invention: Purple carrots. Exhibited at the International Agro-Mashov Agricultural Fair
 held each year in Israel. Photo courtesy of the Moshav Movement. 

Israeli invention: Colored bell peppers. Photo courtesy of the Moshav Movement

Israeli invention: Colored cauliflower. Photo courtesy of the Moshav Movement.