Israeli Agricultural Innovation
In honor of Tu Bishvat this week, we are highlighting some of the most incredible contributions that Israelis have made to agriculture. The Jewish people have historically been very innovative and have contributed much to all areas of science & technology. But the people of Israel have had to solve particularly difficult problems in an area where natural resources are extremely limited at best. Yet, the most difficult problems often yield the most creative and effective solutions! Here are some of the most incredible agricultural solutions Israelis have come up with in recent years:
- Bio-Bee – this company has invented ways to naturally control pests that destroy crops! They are best known for producing the Phytoseiulus persimilis, which is the most effective natural predator of the red spider mite. When released into fields or greenhouses, the predator seeks out and destroys the crops’ enemy, allowing the crops to flourish without any pesticides.
- Drip Irrigation – this is a “water miracle”! Drip irrigation consists of tiny holes in rubber tubing that is laid near the plants’ roots, or underground right at the roots. The holes release small, regular amounts of water, thereby saving TONS of water used in traditional irrigation methods. By placing the water directly in the root zone, barely any water is lost to evaporation. Amazing!
- Wastewater Recycling & Desalination – Israel is a leader in using recycled wastewater for irrigation (about 86%), thereby saving an incredible amount of water! They are also at the forefront of desalination techniques, turning abundant salt water from the sea to useful water for agriculture. Due to Israel’s low rainfall, it is imperative that Israel continues to utilize these water-saving techniques for agriculture, making fresh water more readily available to the increasing population.
- Aquaculture – Fish farming in the desert! Israelis have found ways to raise fish in large pools in the desert by pumping large quantities of salt water found underground in the desert. This not only provides food for many in the desert regions, but also jobs!
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