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Israel: The Little Country with Big Innovations

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph
Drip Irrigation

Israel is a country as big as the Indian state of Manipur (22,372 km²) covering an area of only 22,145 km². It is located on the East Bank of the Mediterranean Sea and is a nation with a limited area for agriculture. According to a report published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global change “It is not a natural or sensible land for agriculture”.

The region is semi-arid or arid for two-thirds of the year and much of the soil is of poor quality. Natural water resources are scarce, precipitation is scarce, and Israel is isolated from vital export markets. 

The rainfall that occurs in the month of May and September is also very rare and as the land is located near 2 continental plates (Arabian & African ) it is very prone to earthquakes. 

So how did a country like this still become one of the highest producers of cow milk, pomegranates, plums and nectarines and eradicate malaria in just 20 years? The answer is innovation, when countries with better geographical conditions are suffering from various problems related to the management of water Israel has managed to already green its deserts and share these ideas with the world as a whole. 

Here are some ideas/ innovations from Israel that helped the world as a whole:

Drip irrigation 

One of Israel's biggest agricultural achievements is the development of a thriving agricultural sector amid desert conditions and the reversal of desertification tendencies. 

More than 40 per cent of the country's vegetables and fruits are grown in this Arid region (Desert). The vast majority of exported melons – some 90 per cent – are grown in the Arava (the Jordan Valley desert). 

So how is this possible, well the answer was to simply employ the drip irrigation technique on a very large scale. Although drip irrigation existed way before Israeli implementation, it was thoroughly popularized after it was revolutionized by Israeli water engineer Simcha Blass in the 1960s. An average of 70 per cent of the world’s water goes toward irrigation, partly because some areas still use wasteful flood irrigation. The drip irrigation Tipa (Drop) tech kits developed by Israel not only helps to supply the crops with water it also makes it totally possible even when the water pressure is absent through the help of gravity. 

It also minimizes the amount of water evaporated due to the arid conditions of the land and helps the plants absorb the maximum amount of water possible. 

These Tipa kits were so effective that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has provided them to hundreds of farmers in Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, Benin and Niger. 

Using water precipitate in the air

Israel has only 90 cubic metres of internal renewable water per capita annually, compared to 1,300 in Germany, 2,200 in the United Kingdom and 8,700 in the United States. However, Israel is now a world leader in water management for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes.  

This is done by employing techniques like collecting dew from the air to water the crops. 

Tal-Ya Water Technologies an Israeli based company produces a reusable plastic tray to collect dew from the air, reducing the water needed by the crops or trees by up to 50 per cent

Innovative Techniques in Dairy farming 

Advanced systems for herd management, monitoring, and feeding are made by Hof Hasharon Dairy Farm, SAE Afikim (Afimilk), and SCR Precise Dairy, and are utilized on dairy farms all over the world. MiRobot manufactures robotic milking systems that allow for efficient and consistent milking and post-milking activities. Israel's dairy industry is considered one of the most advanced in the world. With its effective breeding policy and technology, Israel has become a world leader in milk production. It has more than 100,000 dairy cows that, according to a quota system, produce almost 1.6 billion litres of milk per year.

In the last ten years, Asian countries such as Vietnam and China have made significant investments in dairy farming, relying on Israeli experience, expertise, and technology to accomplish so. 

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