Science & Technology
The agricultural sector is based almost entirely on R&D, implemented by
cooperation between farmers and researchers. Through a well-established
extension service system, research results are quickly transmitted to the
field for trial and implementation, and problems are brought directly to the
scientist for solutions. Agricultural R&D is carried out primarily by the Ministry of
Agricultural Research Organization. Most agricultural research institutes in Israel maintain
close relations with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations, ensuring a continuous exchange of information with other
Israel's dairy cows are, on average, the world champions in milk production, having increased the average yield per cow from 6,300 liters in 1970 to 10,000 liters today through scientific breeding and genetic testing carried out by the Volcani Institute. By harvesting sperm and ova from cattle of superior bloodlines, Israel is able to upgrade its own herd as well as share its advances in their field with other countries.
Israeli agriculturists have pioneered agricultural biotechnology, trickle-drip irrigation, soil solarization and the sustained use of industrial waste water for agriculture. These advances have been applied to marketable products, ranging from genetically-engineered seeds and biopesticides to light-degradable plastics and computerized irrigation/fertilization systems.
Making optimal use of scarce water, harsh land and a limited labor force has
led to revolutions in agricultural methods. The search for water-saving
techniques spurred the development of many types of computer-controlled
irrigation systems, including the drip method which directs water flow
straight to the root zone of plants. As the result of intensive research, the
huge underground reservoir of brackish water under the western Negev is now
being successfully exploited to produce crops such as prime quality tomatoes
for European and American winter markets. Research relating to the electromagnetic treatment of water to improve animal health and crop yields is also producing promising results.
Israeli-designed and manufactured computers are widely used to coordinate the
intricate activities of daily farming such as guiding fertilizer injection
while monitoring all environmental factors; supplying feed for livestock
mixed according to tested, least-cost, best-yield proportions; and providing
a temperature and humidity controlled environment for poultry. In addition, a
variety of equipment designed for tilling, sowing, planting, harvesting, collecting, sorting and packing has been developed, manufactured and implemented..
Agriculture has also benefited from a broad range of general scientific
research and R&D developments, including automated plant tissue culture,
biological insecticides, disease-resistant strains and biological
Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs