Improvements in Israeli agriculture – BORGEN

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DALLAS, Texas – In recent times, Israel has grown tremendously in terms of social and economic influence. The emphasis on foreign investment and resources has increased in recent decades. The country has approved a pipeline agreement with Europe in August 2020 to use the Tamar fields to supply natural gas to the continent. With these changes, there is another area that has seen improvements: Israel’s agriculture.

Agricultural growth in Israel

In terms of the economy, one of the most important areas of growth is agriculture. Considering that the country is partially desert and has an arid climate with brief periods of rain, one would assume that it would be difficult to cultivate efficiently. However, since 2012, the GDP of Israeli agriculture reached heights of 4600.00 million ILS and constantly fluctuated around 3500.00 million ILS. While the efforts of agriculture have forced residents to adapt to the natural setting, recent efforts have focused on new methods of farming as well as technologies and arrangements that have led to the agricultural economy becoming even more widespread.

Farming methods

Even before entering the global landscape, Israel was using kibbutzes, collective farming communities based on the sharing of resources and land, due to the lack of land and water for self-sustaining industrial agriculture. With the growth of Israel as a country, a lot of money has been spent on exporting the country’s products. But, more go into imports.

In 2019, $ 2,182 million was spent on agricultural exports while $ 6,786 million was spent on imports. With this, there is an incentive to focus on improving the products and foods sold inside and outside the country. In 2019, sales of fast moving Israeli consumer goods totaled more than $ 13 billion, of which $ 9 billion was retail food products. In addition, with exports, there is the concern of whether a certain product will pass the standardization of other countries. This results in trade deficits for food and agricultural products as well as imports of cereals and agricultural products oriented towards consumption.

Food processing has become an important part of the economy. According to the International Trade Administration, annual revenue in 2019 was around $ 18.6 billion and accounted for about 17% of the country’s manufacturing revenue. Much of the income is the result of Israeli companies working with multinational food companies like Nestlé and Pepsi Co.

Imports put agriculture in a difficult position as, although they are stable, they are outclassed by other industries due to natural inhibitions. So it makes sense to focus on improving practices through technology and working with other countries on agriculture. The rise of the tech industry and the support of communities have made these efforts a success. This is the direction the country has taken for about 4.3% of its global GDP and 17% of the agricultural budget goes to research and development as well as cooperation between other farmers.

Technology

Many companies and startups have started investing in technology and creating new ways to grow the industry. For example, the Tevel company invested in the use of drones to reap the rewards. Founder Yaniv Maor also plans to use this technology to alleviate labor shortages and take advantage of the short harvest period each year.

Along with the rise of technology companies, there has also been the creation of an innovation center. Located near the community of Ashalim in the Ramat Negev region, the planning and opening of the center received funding of $ 5 million. Arieli Capital company worked with the Local Regional Council of Ramat Negev and Ramat Negev Industries. One of the first projects will be an agricultural technology center (agtech) with an acceleration program to ensure the creation and maintenance of a rapid environment of new technologies. It will also allow innovators to have access to experts in the field and in other areas of research and development.

External investments

Recently the country signed the first cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates since the Abrahamic Accords. The UAE has a climate similar to that of Israel with imports representing around 80% of the food in the countryside. New technologies and new partnerships are needed for the UAE if it is to guarantee its competence. It doesn’t help that the cost of transporting food has increased. The pandemic has further complicated these agreements. However, this allows Israel to work with the UAE to both improve its situation and general relations between the two countries.

Companies like Vertical field and Netafim have also signed agreements in advance to allow the use of their technology in the United Arab Emirates. The fact that several companies can invest in different avenues is a sign of the effectiveness of the technology in helping to improve Israeli agriculture.

India has also been a constant collaborator with regard to agriculture. The two countries signed a three-year agreement this year to further develop agriculture. The Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-Camp) organized an Agri Grand Challenge to tackle the problems of the Indian agricultural sector. The agreement aims to find new technology to “improve the shelf life of products” and minimize losses due to external problems. One of these is the white stem borer infestation which has affected coffee crops enormously.

The collaboration of the two countries will lead to the emergence of new ways of tackling common obstacles. A problem in Israel can be solved in India, and vice versa. The benefits of a cultural and shared relationship can reap huge rewards if properly managed and nurtured.

Conclusion

Between technology and agreements with foreign nations, Israeli agriculture has succeeded in establishing itself to exceed its limits. The country is now in a position to ensure the continued growth of its industry so as to ensure stability. Modernization can help foreign countries when they are under the control and direction of the government and the citizens who benefit from the changes. It also ensures that the new technology is shared with other countries that have similar issues.

– John Dunkerley
Photo: Unsplash


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