Israel is at the forefront in terms of agricultural technologies. This is against the fact that Israel is generally a desert country in the Middle East. They practice successful agriculture in extreme climatic conditions. To be specific, half of the land in Israel is a desert. There is no water and the climate is unfriendly for growing crops.
Against all odds, agriculture contributes more than 2.5 per cent of the country GDP every year. Israel is known to produce up to 95 per cent of the food her citizens consume. The remaining 5 per cent is the coffee, sugar and grains they receive from elsewhere.
Israel has benefited greatly from the advanced research which is conducted in their research institutions. This research has been a result of the country’s increased agricultural output. The research has been driven by the need to increase agricultural yields and quality. The outcome is the development of new seed varieties and the discovery of a soil conditioner which is reputed to increase the capacity of the local soil.
Practice of Organic Farming in Israel
Israel carries out research and development nationwide which helps in updating the existing knowledge base and the technology applied in the farms.
The Water Technology used in Israel
Since a large portion of Israel is arid, the researchers have come up with various technologies of water conservation. They aim at using the saline water to grow crops in an efficient manner. They practice drip irrigation whereby they apply fertilizer in a solution form. This is why the process is sometimes called ‘ferigation’. During the rainy season, much of the water is absorbed by the dry lands and any excess water is carried on the seasonal river beds to the sea. Due to that, the Israelis have dug water reservoirs along the rivers. They pump water into the reservoirs for future use.
There are also very deep wells in the Southern part of Israel to make use of thermal water. This water is used in heating up the greenhouses. The water is used for two purposes. One, to heat the air around the plants in cold weather by channeling it in plastic pipes cross to the plants. The water is then cooled in tanks before being used for drip irrigation elsewhere.
Israel is known to have used technology well in her agricultural practices. Drip irrigation was first practiced in Israel. It proved to be an efficient way of irrigation because of the way it avoids water wastage.
Areas where Israel has developed specialized technology
The following are some of the areas in which Israel has a leading edge in terms of technology:
- Milking by automation
- Invention of equipments able to collect eggs
- Feeding livestock in a computerized way
- Using computers to record production
- Computerized irrigation where fertilizers are automatically injected into the system and
- advanced methods of monitoring temperatures and humidity in the farms
Israel is now sharing its agricultural knowhow with developing countries like India, Senegal and El Salvador.
Examples of Israeli Agricultural Development Projects
1. The African Market Garden(AMG) is an Israeli project in Niger where they advise small scale farmer on how to get maximum benefits from such farms. Tilling an eighth of an acre gives a revenue of $4,000 per year.
2. Polysack Plastic Industries
This is a technology which developed in 1974 to counter the problem of a lot of heat during summer in Israel. The technology involves the use of nets which are resistant to Ultraviolet rays. This technology has been well received in Russia, Brazil, Mexico among other countries.