Desert farming in Israel

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Israel has the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the Dead Sea and the Jordan river to the east, desert to the south and mountains to the north. The climate, soil quality and terrain are very complex. The subtropical climate and desert climate coexist. The dune and gobi are connected with the alluvial soil. But Israeli agriculture has done well around the world.

The diversity of natural conditions determines the diversity of Israeli agriculture, for which scientists must design the best use for every inch of land. Harsh natural conditions forced the israelites to rely on technology for agriculture. In this barren land, they produced world-renowned high-quality citrus, tomatoes, grapes and other fruits and vegetables, and brought forth colorful flowers.

Israel has 411,000 hectares of agricultural land and 72,000 agricultural workers (70% of whom are employed), accounting for 2.8% of the Labour force. Per capita arable land is less than China, only 0.058 hectares, and serious drought, high groundwater salinity. The poor basic conditions for agricultural development are rarely seen in the world. Israel is also one of the world’s most water-scarce countries. The deserts and dry lands in the central and southern regions account for 60 percent of the country’s land area, with an average annual rainfall of less than 200 millimeters. In many areas, it never rains. Rainfall is mainly concentrated in the northern region, the average annual is only 500 mm, and basically concentrated in November to April. Galilee lake (Galilee) is the lifeblood of the whole country. In 1999, Israel had access to 2.076 billion cubic metres of water, more than 300 cubic metres per person; About 60 percent of that goes to agriculture.

However, Israeli agriculture is also a highly efficient productive sector. In 1999, for example, agricultural producers, which accounted for about 3% of the total national labor force, realized agricultural output value of us $3.28 billion, or about us $40,000 per capita. That year, Israel’s agricultural exports totaled $1.228 billion, with an average agricultural labor export of about $15,000.

Israel has done amazing things by turning the desert into an oasis. Drought is the enemy of Israeli agriculture, so “save every drop of water” and “water the plants, not the soil” became their guidelines. They must maximize water-saving (including brackish) irrigation, drip and spray irrigation, and recycling, depending on the growing needs of the crop. Drip irrigation makes the water utilization rate reach 95%, and the recycling rate of urban wastewater reaches over 30%. Agricultural water demand accounts for about 60% of the total water, of which 63% is met by fresh water, 27% by brackish water, and the remaining 10% by treated sewage. The desert of the dead Negev has been dotted with oases, with one of the highest cotton yields in the world.

The miracle of agriculture in the desert

Israel’s first prime minister, Ben gurion, predicted that his country’s future lay in the southern desert. Water is the lifeblood of desert transformation. Israel has spent 150 million us dollars since 1952 to build the 145-km “north to south water transfer” main pipeline in 11 years. Then it will be transported to all parts of the country by medium and small-caliber pipeline.

In 1962, a farmer came across crops growing particularly well where water pipes were leaking. Infiltration of water into soil at the same point is the most effective way to reduce evaporation, efficient irrigation and control water, fertilizer and pesticides. This discovery was immediately supported by the government, and the world-famous Netafim (a kibbutz drip irrigation company) was founded in 1964.

Since the invention of drip irrigation, Israeli agricultural water use has stabilized at 1.3 billion cubic meters for 30 years, while agricultural output has increased many times. Drip irrigation is simple, but getting water to drip evenly into each plant is complicated. They developed the plug – proof plastic pipe, joint, filter, controller and so on are the crystallization of high – tech. Today, Israel’s drip irrigation technology is used in more than 80 countries, and netafim has annual revenues of $230m, 80% of which is exported.

Drip irrigation has revolutionized traditional farming. Israel is a land of pipelines and numerous drip irrigation systems are connected by blue-and-white water main pipes along the roads. Field head is more than 1 meter in diameter of the black plastic water storage tank, the computer automatically added fertilizer, pesticides into the water infiltration plant roots. Drip irrigation makes every inch of land into the high-tech, so that the desert city also thick shade. Computerized drip and spray irrigation systems for water, fertilizer and pesticide are the basis of modern Israeli agriculture. Its enormous economic and social benefits have proved that scientific irrigation represented by drip irrigation can greatly alleviate the global water crisis.

The Arava valley, with annual rainfall of only 25 to 50 millimeters, is located in the negev desert of Israel. Its northern end borders the Dead Sea, the lowest point in the world with an altitude of -400 meters. The summer temperature is as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Dry deserts are highly saline. The negev desert region is rich in subsurface brackish water. It used to be thought that salt water, even brackish water, could not be used for irrigation. But Israeli scientists began using brackish water for agricultural irrigation. In the west and north of Israel, where most of the agricultural fresh water is used in the advantaged valleys (fields), desert management really depends on brackish water.

The scientific development and application of desert brackish water is another outstanding contribution of Israeli scientists to the development of desert farming. The study found that cotton, tomato and melon can easily accept the maximum concentration of 0.41% ~ 0.47% of brackish water irrigation. Although crop yields will decline, product quality will improve. If the melon irrigated by brackish water is more sweet, the melon type is more favorable for export. The total soluble matter content of tomato will increase and its sweetness will increase. Negev tomatoes and other high-quality brackish water irrigation vegetables, fruits have occupied a place in the European and American markets.

After years of efforts, Israel has cultivated cotton, melon, bell pepper, tomato, olive, cowtooth and tiger tail, which are suitable for the slightly salty water in the negev desert. The hybrid varieties such as date palm, banana tree and sunflower cultivated by biotechnology, which are much lower than the general varieties, have created a desert miracle of low water consumption and high yield. In addition, in order to resist the drought caused by pests and diseases, scientists have also developed a variety of new varieties of disaster resistance.

Now, after thousands of years of desert, the negev desert is dotted with more than 10,000 hectares of desert oasis. Each hectare of greenhouse can harvest 3 million roses per season, and the yield of tomato per hectare can reach up to 500 tons. Farmers’ incomes have risen from $170 a year to more than $10,000. Nearly 500 families live in the desert, which covers just 6 percent of Israel’s total land area, but exports of fresh fruits and vegetables account for half of Israel’s total exports, and flowers account for 12 percent. At present, Israeli agricultural products have occupied 40% of the European fruit and vegetable market, and become the second largest flower supplier in Europe after the Netherlands.

Fruit and breeding

Fruit production occupies an important position in Israeli agricultural production. In 2002, the area of fruit in Israel reached 36,000 hectares (excluding 17,000 hectares of sweet orange products), and the value of its output reached 513 million us dollars. Fruit exports reached 74,000 tons, accounting for 15 percent of Israel’s total agricultural production. Avocados account for 49,000 tons of exported fruit and 4,000 tons of fresh grapes.

In 2002, Israel produced 530,000 tons of citrus fruit and 17,000 hectares of orchards. About 55,000 tons are exported annually, accounting for 12.5% of all fresh agricultural exports. The citrus fruits mentioned here include grapefruit, lemons and other small varieties of citrus fruits.

Israel also has more than 50,000 hectares of other orchards that produce 500,000 tons of fruit a year, worth $450 million. A variety of weather conditions allow Israel to harvest fruit at the beginning and end of the peak fruit season, and even after the peak fruit season. In this way, fruit can be sold in the market for a long time.

Vegetable production is also important in Israel, with an estimated value of $672 million, or 21 per cent of total agricultural output. There are about 45,000 hectares of open field production, and the yield is higher in the “greenhouse”, the area has reached 4,000 hectares, mainly tomatoes, sweet peppers, leafy vegetables, watermelon, melon and so on.

What is most surprising is the degree to which some private companies attach importance to agricultural research. In BenDor::: s company, the owner has been engaged in fruit breeding since his grandfather’s generation. After decades of efforts, 42 varieties of plums and 13 varieties of peaches have been produced, and the picking period can be extended evenly from may to early November. In addition, there are 15 varieties of apricot (picking period of 3 months), 15 varieties of nectarine (picking period of 5 months). The flesh and skin of these fruits vary in colour, but they are of very good quality. For example, a 385-gram box of plums (6) can sell for 3.5-4 pounds in the UK!

At present, Israeli agricultural products have occupied 40% of the European fruit and vegetable market, and become the second largest flower supplier in Europe after the Netherlands. The Israeli government attributes these achievements to the great success of advanced science and technology in desert agricultural development.

Technology and human resources

The most important reason for Israel’s agricultural development is that the country attaches great importance to scientific research, development and promotion. Israel not only has a large investment and a large number of human resources, but also has a rigorous organization and effective measures. In 2000, Israel’s national expenditure on civil research and development (R&D) was about $4.786 billion, an increase of 16% over 1999. It accounts for 4.2% of GDP. During the same period, enterprises’ R&D expenses accounted for about 65% of the total civil R&D expenses in China. Although funding for agricultural research in Israel comes from many sources, it is still mainly funded by the government. Hebrew university estimates agricultural research funding at $1.1 billion in 1996, with government funding accounting for about 90 percent. Of the government’s input, the ministry of agriculture accounted for the majority, accounting for 63 percent of the total, while the other 27.5 percent came from the ministry of science and technology and the ministry of education. In addition to government input, private enterprises and private foundations also fund some agricultural research, nearly 10 percent.

In 1996 the ministry of agriculture spent 2.6% of GDP on agricultural research, the fourth-highest in the OECD. About half of that ($40m) was spent on the salaries of ARO staff and basic laboratory operations.

Had it not been for extreme drought, Israel would not have the water-saving system it has today, which maximizes the efficiency of almost every drop of water. Had it not been for a desperate shortage of land, there would have been no efficient Israeli agriculture, nor would there have been the painstaking work of clearing the deserts and gobi. Today, Israel’s exports of water-saving drip irrigation, desert management, genetic breeding, high-efficiency farming, fruit preservation, fertilizers, pesticides and equipment far exceed its total agricultural output, and agricultural projects account for more than half of all international cooperation projects in Israel.

In order to make better use of desert resources, Israel pays special attention to the introduction of various drought-tolerant plants from abroad, especially desert plants. There are several research centers and testing grounds for desert plants throughout the country. In addition to the striking, colorful cactus plants, there are some strange drought-tolerant trees. It is said that most of these plants have a wide range of USES, with good prospects for development. After years of research, Israeli scientists have been able to reel off the characteristics and economic value of various plants. Originally, the desert is also full of life and vitality of the land.

In Israel, the life cycle of a new crop variety on the market is three to four years. According to the characteristics of the desert climate, Israel has developed a desert greenhouse with overhead, roof ventilation facilities. The skeleton material of the greenhouse is generally made of aluminum alloy galvanized, and its service life can reach more than 10 years. The fine mesh nylon mesh covering the greenhouse can effectively prevent pests from flying in, thus avoiding pesticide spraying, and its service life is generally 6 years. At present, the area of desert greenhouse in Israel has exceeded 3000 hectares. The popularization of desert greenhouse has greatly promoted the development of Israeli agriculture.

High-quality farmers are the basic guarantee of modern agriculture and modern society. Israel has always attached great importance to education and believes that investment in education is the most fundamental economic investment. Various agricultural extension centers often hold training courses, and farmers’ education level generally reaches the college level, and they can quickly master new agricultural technologies.

srael has the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the Dead Sea and the Jordan river to the east, desert to the south and mountains to the north. The climate, soil quality and terrain are very complex. The subtropical climate and desert climate coexist. The dune and gobi are connected with the alluvial soil. But Israeli agriculture has done well around the world.

The diversity of natural conditions determines the diversity of Israeli agriculture, for which scientists must design the best use for every inch of land. Harsh natural conditions forced the israelites to rely on technology for agriculture. In this barren land, they produced world-renowned high-quality citrus, tomatoes, grapes and other fruits and vegetables, and brought forth colorful flowers.

Israel has 411,000 hectares of agricultural land and 72,000 agricultural workers (70% of whom are employed), accounting for 2.8% of the Labour force. Per capita arable land is less than China, only 0.058 hectares, and serious drought, high groundwater salinity. The poor basic conditions for agricultural development are rarely seen in the world. Israel is also one of the world’s most water-scarce countries. The deserts and dry lands in the central and southern regions account for 60 percent of the country’s land area, with an average annual rainfall of less than 200 millimeters. In many areas, it never rains. Rainfall is mainly concentrated in the northern region, the average annual is only 500 mm, and basically concentrated in November to April. Galilee lake (Galilee) is the lifeblood of the whole country. In 1999, Israel had access to 2.076 billion cubic metres of water, more than 300 cubic metres per person; About 60 percent of that goes to agriculture.

However, Israeli agriculture is also a highly efficient productive sector. In 1999, for example, agricultural producers, which accounted for about 3% of the total national labor force, realized agricultural output value of us $3.28 billion, or about us $40,000 per capita. That year, Israel’s agricultural exports totaled $1.228 billion, with an average agricultural labor export of about $15,000.

Israel has done amazing things by turning the desert into an oasis. Drought is the enemy of Israeli agriculture, so “save every drop of water” and “water the plants, not the soil” became their guidelines. They must maximize water-saving (including brackish) irrigation, drip and spray irrigation, and recycling, depending on the growing needs of the crop. Drip irrigation makes the water utilization rate reach 95%, and the recycling rate of urban wastewater reaches over 30%. Agricultural water demand accounts for about 60% of the total water, of which 63% is met by fresh water, 27% by brackish water, and the remaining 10% by treated sewage. The desert of the dead Negev has been dotted with oases, with one of the highest cotton yields in the world.

The miracle of agriculture in the desert

Israel’s first prime minister, Ben gurion, predicted that his country’s future lay in the southern desert. Water is the lifeblood of desert transformation. Israel has spent 150 million us dollars since 1952 to build the 145-km “north to south water transfer” main pipeline in 11 years. Then it will be transported to all parts of the country by medium and small-caliber pipeline.

In 1962, a farmer came across crops growing particularly well where water pipes were leaking. Infiltration of water into soil at the same point is the most effective way to reduce evaporation, efficient irrigation and control water, fertilizer and pesticides. This discovery was immediately supported by the government, and the world-famous Netafim (a kibbutz drip irrigation company) was founded in 1964.

Since the invention of drip irrigation, Israeli agricultural water use has stabilized at 1.3 billion cubic meters for 30 years, while agricultural output has increased many times. Drip irrigation is simple, but getting water to drip evenly into each plant is complicated. They developed the plug – proof plastic pipe, joint, filter, controller and so on are the crystallization of high – tech. Today, Israel’s drip irrigation technology is used in more than 80 countries, and netafim has annual revenues of $230m, 80% of which is exported.

Drip irrigation has revolutionized traditional farming. Israel is a land of pipelines and numerous drip irrigation systems are connected by blue-and-white water main pipes along the roads. Field head is more than 1 meter in diameter of the black plastic water storage tank, the computer automatically added fertilizer, pesticides into the water infiltration plant roots. Drip irrigation makes every inch of land into the high-tech, so that the desert city also thick shade. Computerized drip and spray irrigation systems for water, fertilizer and pesticide are the basis of modern Israeli agriculture. Its enormous economic and social benefits have proved that scientific irrigation represented by drip irrigation can greatly alleviate the global water crisis.

The Arava valley, with annual rainfall of only 25 to 50 millimeters, is located in the negev desert of Israel. Its northern end borders the Dead Sea, the lowest point in the world with an altitude of -400 meters. The summer temperature is as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Dry deserts are highly saline. The negev desert region is rich in subsurface brackish water. It used to be thought that salt water, even brackish water, could not be used for irrigation. But Israeli scientists began using brackish water for agricultural irrigation. In the west and north of Israel, where most of the agricultural fresh water is used in the advantaged valleys (fields), desert management really depends on brackish water.

The scientific development and application of desert brackish water is another outstanding contribution of Israeli scientists to the development of desert farming. The study found that cotton, tomato and melon can easily accept the maximum concentration of 0.41% ~ 0.47% of brackish water irrigation. Although crop yields will decline, product quality will improve. If the melon irrigated by brackish water is more sweet, the melon type is more favorable for export. The total soluble matter content of tomato will increase and its sweetness will increase. Negev tomatoes and other high-quality brackish water irrigation vegetables, fruits have occupied a place in the European and American markets.

After years of efforts, Israel has cultivated cotton, melon, bell pepper, tomato, olive, cowtooth and tiger tail, which are suitable for the slightly salty water in the negev desert. The hybrid varieties such as date palm, banana tree and sunflower cultivated by biotechnology, which are much lower than the general varieties, have created a desert miracle of low water consumption and high yield. In addition, in order to resist the drought caused by pests and diseases, scientists have also developed a variety of new varieties of disaster resistance.

Now, after thousands of years of desert, the negev desert is dotted with more than 10,000 hectares of desert oasis. Each hectare of greenhouse can harvest 3 million roses per season, and the yield of tomato per hectare can reach up to 500 tons. Farmers’ incomes have risen from $170 a year to more than $10,000. Nearly 500 families live in the desert, which covers just 6 percent of Israel’s total land area, but exports of fresh fruits and vegetables account for half of Israel’s total exports, and flowers account for 12 percent. At present, Israeli agricultural products have occupied 40% of the European fruit and vegetable market, and become the second largest flower supplier in Europe after the Netherlands.

Fruit and breeding

Fruit production occupies an important position in Israeli agricultural production. In 2002, the area of fruit in Israel reached 36,000 hectares (excluding 17,000 hectares of sweet orange products), and the value of its output reached 513 million us dollars. Fruit exports reached 74,000 tons, accounting for 15 percent of Israel’s total agricultural production. Avocados account for 49,000 tons of exported fruit and 4,000 tons of fresh grapes.

In 2002, Israel produced 530,000 tons of citrus fruit and 17,000 hectares of orchards. About 55,000 tons are exported annually, accounting for 12.5% of all fresh agricultural exports. The citrus fruits mentioned here include grapefruit, lemons and other small varieties of citrus fruits.

Israel also has more than 50,000 hectares of other orchards that produce 500,000 tons of fruit a year, worth $450 million. A variety of weather conditions allow Israel to harvest fruit at the beginning and end of the peak fruit season, and even after the peak fruit season. In this way, fruit can be sold in the market for a long time.

Vegetable production is also important in Israel, with an estimated value of $672 million, or 21 per cent of total agricultural output. There are about 45,000 hectares of open field production, and the yield is higher in the “greenhouse”, the area has reached 4,000 hectares, mainly tomatoes, sweet peppers, leafy vegetables, watermelon, melon and so on.

What is most surprising is the degree to which some private companies attach importance to agricultural research. In BenDor::: s company, the owner has been engaged in fruit breeding since his grandfather’s generation. After decades of efforts, 42 varieties of plums and 13 varieties of peaches have been produced, and the picking period can be extended evenly from may to early November. In addition, there are 15 varieties of apricot (picking period of 3 months), 15 varieties of nectarine (picking period of 5 months). The flesh and skin of these fruits vary in colour, but they are of very good quality. For example, a 385-gram box of plums (6) can sell for 3.5-4 pounds in the UK!

At present, Israeli agricultural products have occupied 40% of the European fruit and vegetable market, and become the second largest flower supplier in Europe after the Netherlands. The Israeli government attributes these achievements to the great success of advanced science and technology in desert agricultural development.

Technology and human resources

The most important reason for Israel’s agricultural development is that the country attaches great importance to scientific research, development and promotion. Israel not only has a large investment and a large number of human resources, but also has a rigorous organization and effective measures. In 2000, Israel’s national expenditure on civil research and development (R&D) was about $4.786 billion, an increase of 16% over 1999. It accounts for 4.2% of GDP. During the same period, enterprises’ R&D expenses accounted for about 65% of the total civil R&D expenses in China. Although funding for agricultural research in Israel comes from many sources, it is still mainly funded by the government. Hebrew university estimates agricultural research funding at $1.1 billion in 1996, with government funding accounting for about 90 percent. Of the government’s input, the ministry of agriculture accounted for the majority, accounting for 63 percent of the total, while the other 27.5 percent came from the ministry of science and technology and the ministry of education. In addition to government input, private enterprises and private foundations also fund some agricultural research, nearly 10 percent.

In 1996 the ministry of agriculture spent 2.6% of GDP on agricultural research, the fourth-highest in the OECD. About half of that ($40m) was spent on the salaries of ARO staff and basic laboratory operations.

Had it not been for extreme drought, Israel would not have the water-saving system it has today, which maximizes the efficiency of almost every drop of water. Had it not been for a desperate shortage of land, there would have been no efficient Israeli agriculture, nor would there have been the painstaking work of clearing the deserts and gobi. Today, Israel’s exports of water-saving drip irrigation, desert management, genetic breeding, high-efficiency farming, fruit preservation, fertilizers, pesticides and equipment far exceed its total agricultural output, and agricultural projects account for more than half of all international cooperation projects in Israel.

In order to make better use of desert resources, Israel pays special attention to the introduction of various drought-tolerant plants from abroad, especially desert plants. There are several research centers and testing grounds for desert plants throughout the country. In addition to the striking, colorful cactus plants, there are some strange drought-tolerant trees. It is said that most of these plants have a wide range of USES, with good prospects for development. After years of research, Israeli scientists have been able to reel off the characteristics and economic value of various plants. Originally, the desert is also full of life and vitality of the land.

In Israel, the life cycle of a new crop variety on the market is three to four years. According to the characteristics of the desert climate, Israel has developed a desert greenhouse with overhead, roof ventilation facilities. The skeleton material of the greenhouse is generally made of aluminum alloy galvanized, and its service life can reach more than 10 years. The fine mesh nylon mesh covering the greenhouse can effectively prevent pests from flying in, thus avoiding pesticide spraying, and its service life is generally 6 years. At present, the area of desert greenhouse in Israel has exceeded 3000 hectares. The popularization of desert greenhouse has greatly promoted the development of Israeli agriculture.

High-quality farmers are the basic guarantee of modern agriculture and modern society. Israel has always attached great importance to education and believes that investment in education is the most fundamental economic investment. Various agricultural extension centers often hold training courses, and farmers’ education level generally reaches the college level, and they can quickly master new agricultural technologies.

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