Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

10 fascinating facts about Israel's agricultural sector

Israel's agriculture is a phenomenon.

It is phenomenal in that low natural potential for the development of the industry is compensated by high intensity and efficiency of innovation. Traditional farming methods do not actually apply in this country. A high level of innovative technologies helps maximize the productivity of the industry with minimal resource costs.

We would like to introduce you to 10 facts, confirming the above:

  1. 76% of Israel's of agricultural product exports are sent to the EU. This fact testifies to the high quality and level of safety of Israeli produce. The main region for growing exports – the Arava desert.
  2. Israeli farmers are able to change the flavor quality of fruits and vegetables. They can both enhance the taste of the fruit and make it more neutral. It is worth noting that a similar effect is achieved by hybridization (the breeding of new plant varieties by crossing existing) - rather than genetically modifying foods (GMOs).
  3. Vegetables are sorted by means of photographic equipment and computers. Each fruit is photographed 32 times on the conveyor belt. From these images the computer generates a three-dimensional model of the fetus by determining its size, ripeness, damage and so on. On the basis of the collected data, vegetables and fruits are automatically sorted in accordance with the given parameters.
  4. Almonds and figs are not harvested by hand, but rather with a special processor. Harvesting is done by a combine shake of the trunk. The shaking is applied at certain amplitude, calculated on the basis of a number of plant parameters. This method is not only harmless to the tree, it also strengthens its root system. The cleaning process takes about 30-60 seconds as opposed to manual assembly, which takes several tens of minutes.
  5. The government subsidises up to 40% of the purchase price of equipment and there is a steady introduction of new technologies. Software, irrigation systems and innovative harvesting equipment - all these cost Israeli farmers less thanks to government subsidies. Due to this approach, as well as to the close cooperation of the state, private and academic sectors in the field of agriculture manage to maintain the high rate of innovative introductions in the sector.
  6. Very low loss in grape harvest. Using a special harvester, they have reduced losses from 10% (in the case of manual assembly) to 1-1.5%.
  7. Milk yield increased by pouring cold water on cows. This method enabled an average increase of yields by 2 500 liters per year, which raises the yield to up to 12,500 liters a year. The fact is that this procedure helps improve animal health, which is reflected in their appetite and therefore in their yield.
  8. Egg production of hens increased by means of multi-colored toys. In most cases, hens sitting on a perch peck other chickens sitting next to them. Hanging colorful toys has succeeded in eradicating the chickens’ cannibalism in the chicken coop. When they want to "let off steam" they peck these toys instead of their neighbors. This method has significantly reduced of the death rate in the chicken coops.
  9. The struggle against insects is more global and systemic in Israel than in other countries. The approach combines the selective control of harmful insects and microorganisms, as well as rational control over the population of beneficial insects and microorganisms. To eliminate control insects in greenhouses and in the fields, anise, basil, and other oils are sprayed and pheromones are used.
  10. The potato storage period is extended by treatment of adventitious buds with essential oils. Adventitious buds tuber are treated with peppermint, eucalyptus and other essential oils that prevent the germination of potatoes and prolong their shelf life. This work is performed not by the people, but by a special programmed device.


These facts are taken from a newsletter of the Galilee International Management Institute - Israel