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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

600 Million Israel Spiders Attack Enemies of S. American Crops

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015


Israel is on the attack, but this time it is with kibbutz spiders grown as a natural pesticide to fight enemies of crops in Colombia, Globes reported.

The carnivorous spiders are grown in the Bio-Bee laboratories at Sde Eliyahu, a national religious kibbutz located in the Jordan Valley, approximately five miles south of Beit Shean and near the border with Jordan.

It has grown spiders that will be flown to Colombia and multiply to 600 million to eat up spiders half their size. They are kept refrigerated and then reproduce after being released in warm air at their destination.

The kibbutz spiders chase after the smaller enemy, hunt it down and then suck it dry.

Bio-Bee is looking forward to marketing the natural pesticide to replace chemicals.

Sde Eliyahu says the carnivorous spiders are expensive to grow. It takes only a week from incubation to reach the adult stage, but they fetch a price of tens of thousands of dollars and ounce.

PM Netanyahu to Meet Italian PM, Visit Expo 2015 in Milan

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is on his way to Italy, where he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and also to visit Expo 2015 in Milan.

The expo is the venue for the agricultural and food industry in Europe.

A long list of world leaders have already made their way to the trade show, whose them is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Included among the honored visitors thus far have been Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as the presidents of France, Russia, Austria, Ireland, Mexico and Colombia.

Netanyahu will first visit the pavilion presented by the State of Israel, and then several others, including those representing Italy, the United States and China.

The Israeli pavilion introduces the world to technological developments and innovative systems that Israel uses on a daily basis. The pavilion itself was built with advanced tools based on ‘green technology,’ including energy-saving devices and special water and air equipment.

The pavilion also displays the unique character of the State of Israel, albeit with its special emphasis on advanced agriculture and technology. It presents Israel’s historical and cultural values, and its agricultural heritage from Biblical times to the present.

The entire pavilion is environment-friendly and recyclable without impact on the environment. The vertical Fields of Tomorrow is a demonstration of Israel’s abilities in various areas including the cultivation of rocky land, growth of vegetables in the desert, new methods of irrigation and improvement of seed quality.

It’s Elul — But Shmitah Has a Long Way To Go, Israeli Farmers Say

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

For some Israeli farmers, the Shmitah year still has a long way to go — another year, in fact.

According to Dave Matkowsky, founder of The Shmitah Fund, observance of Shmitah does not actually end with Rosh HaShanah, the start of the new, eighth year.

The time that farmers can replant, or begin their crops anew, actually varies according to the crop due to a combination of agricultural, economic and halachic (Torah legal) reasons.

Shimon Chazut, a farmer in Moshav Gimzu, has vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards. “Shmitah for citrus is the eighth year,” he said. “For olives it’s the eighth year… with grapes, until you sell the wine it’s the eighth year too.

“It will be much harder in the eighth year than in the seventh.”

Matkowsky, an alumnus of Yeshiva University, established the nonprofit organization in order to ease the financial burden of Israeli farmers who are fulfilling this central religious-national imperative.

“The ability of the Jewish nation to flourish in the Land of Israel is intrinsically connected to Shmitah,” Matkowsky told JewishPress.com. “But it’s time for us to do our part. The farmers will not make it without our help.”

For the farmers and their families, the challenges of shmitah do not end with replanting, but only months later with the harvest and ability to bring their crops to market, Matkowsky explained.

“Halachically, fruit trees are prohibited until the new crop begins to reach maturity in mid-April, 2016. Some crops can be planted beginning in November 2015 (grains, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, etc)

“Other crops cannot be planted until May 2016 because of their natural agricultural cycle (eggplant, zucchini, squash, etc.)

“Crops typically cultivated in greenhouses and hothouses (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, leaf vegetables) cannot be planted until April 2016 for economic reasons; the cost of planting sooner would exceed revenue and farmers would be forced to sell at a loss,” he added.

Currently there are 3,453 Shmitah-observant farmers who need help to get through this cycle and get back on their feet, according to Matkowsky.

The budget for the last Shmitah was $15 million. This cycle, with over 1,000 additional farmers, will cost $22.5 million.

PA Arab Terror Suspected in Death of Israeli Farmer

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

A group of Palestinian Authority Arab workers who entered Israel illegally are believed to have beaten 70-year-old Rehovot farmer David Ben-Kafra to death at Moshav Pedaya for nationalistic reasons.

“This is a nationalistic matter — he had no enemies,” a heartbroken family member told Israel HaYom late in the day. “He was a father of five, a grandfather of 14. He was loved by everyone; he never had problems with anyone.”

However, “We are waiting for information from the police and are certain they will do their job faithfully,” said the victim’s son, Daniel Bar, who serves as a spokesperson for the Ministry of Religious Services and currently also as interim spokesperson for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Members of the centrally-located moshav called police when they found Ben-Kafra with severe head wounds and other injuries. Police were told by other workers that he was assaulted by several Palestinian Authority workers at the moshav orchard. Ben-Kafra was immediately rushed to Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center in nearby Tzrifin, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police have launched an investigation into the attack, and said a nationalist motive for the murder has not yet been established. However, according to initial information indicates the attackers were indeed PA Arabs who were illegally residing in pre-1967 Israel.

Pres. Rivlin Receives ‘First Fruits of the Field’ for Shavuot

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin is reaping the fruits of years invested in good relations with Israeli farmers.

On Thursday, the president and his wife Nechama received two big baskets of fruit and vegetables from the nation’s farmers, in concert with the tradition of bringing the “first fruits of the field” to Jerusalem on the eve of Shavuot.

In the time of the Holy Temple, reminded Meir Yifrah, a member of Moshav Ohad (near the Gaza border) and the secretary-general of the Israel Vegetable Growers’ Association, the custom was scrupulously observed, with farmers bringing their produce to the Kohanim (priests) of the Temple. Today, he smiled, they are bringing their produce instead to the President of the State of Israel. Along with Yifrah were farmers from every part of the country.

For 20 years, MK Rivlin was a member of the lobby that advocated for the farmers of Israel, working for subsidies when things got tough.

On Thursday, Rivlin offered to become an active voice for the farmers once more. It’s not a new move for him; Rivlin has always taken an interest in agricultural affairs, partly because his wife Nechama was born on a moshav (an agricultural cooperative community.)

Due to this being the shemittah – seventh – year, in which the fields are allowed to lie fallow, there are fewer varieties and less to offer, but what there is was brought and received with joy.

Agritech Startups Showcase Technologies at AgriVest Conference

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Some of the most promising and innovative Israeli agritech startups pitched their technologies yesterday (April 27) at the third International AgriVest Conference held at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The conference is an initiative of Invest in Israel, the investment promotion center at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, the Trendlines Group and Trendlines Agtech.

Some 350 business people, entrepreneurs, government officials, scientists and investors from Israel and abroad attended the conference.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Agtech called the AgriVest conference “a unique platform for Israeli startups and entrepreneurs to meet with investors and key people in the global agricultural industry.” Kardish said the gathering provided a place to “reveal the potential of investing in innovative developments.”

Chairman and CEO of the Trendlines Group Steve Rhodes added, “The global growth of investment in agritech 2014 reached a record breaking $2.36 billion raised which is testimony to positive trends in this sphere.”

The highlight of the conference was a competition between 12 Israeli startups out of 40 that applied for the privilege, who presented the newest innovations in Israel’s agricultural technology.

At the event DouxMax was crowned the winner following assessment and grading by the participants.

DouxMax has developed a method to create special, sweeter sugar in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar required in foods.

BioFishency, developers of an all-in-one water treatment system for land-based aquaculture was also awarded a prize for its system to increase the number of fish threefold while reducing water usage.

“AgriVest showcases technologies that will enable us to produce unique foodstuffs, additives, seeds and agricultural products to combat the stress on our dwindling natural resources,” said Gideon Soesman, co-founder and managing partner of GreenSoil Investments.

“Investing in new crops, treatment methods, waste reduction and yield enhancement will provide solutions to the world’s food crisis and can deliver sizable returns to investors.”

Hamas ‘Tax’ Revenue from Israeli Imports: NIS 175,000,000

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Despite was what supposed to have been a complete disengagement from Gaza, and the Gazan’s direct border crossing with Egypt, Israel still remains the preferred, and sometimes the only choice for Gazans who want to import and export goods and merchandise.

And Hamas terrorists are making a tidy sum off that trade, according to a Makor Rishon report.

After Israel completely evacuated all the Jews from Gaza and Gush Katif in 2005, the Palestinian Authority took over. But in 2007, Hamas violently took over the Gaza strip, slaughtering their political opponents.

Since the terrorist organization’s coup Hamas has been the primary terror group in charge of the Gaza Strip.

Despite Hamas, civilian trade with Israel still continued.

In 2014, 61,000 trucks passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel to Gaza. That crossing is located in southern Gaza near Rafah. There is also trade that goes through the northern Erez crossing.

During Operation Protective Edge, over 130,000 tons of merchandise crossed into Gaza. 15% of Israeli fruit are exported to Gaza.

Gaza has also recently begun exporting produce to Judea and Samaria, and 40 trucks have already passed into Israel in the past few months.

This past week, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai held an agricultural conference in which farmers and distributors from Gaza participated – in Israel.

Gazan importers are looking for even lower prices than they get now, and during the conference it came out why.

Gazan importers must pay protection money to Hamas of between 50 to 100 shekels per ton, on products imported from Israel.

And that’s just to start off with.

In addition, each truck that passes into Gaza is charged a fee.

Canned goods and potatoes are charged an additional 1800 shekels per truck, trucks carrying coffee pay Hamas 2500 shekels per truck, and each truck transporting clothing into Israel pays 4000 shekels to Hamas.

It’s estimated that Hamas’s 2014 “tax” revenue from Israeli imports stands at 175 million shekels ($45 million dollars). You can build a lot of terror tunnels and rockets with that kind of money.

Hamas also takes a cut from the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai.

The Gazans said that before the war this past summer their economic situation was difficult, but now everything is collapsing.

At the conference, the Gazans said they missed Gush Katif and working with the Jewish Settlers.

One Gazan at the conference said, “We worked there with the Jews [from Gush Katif] and everything was good.” He continued, “We’re still in contact with them, and dream of those bygone days. Now there is no hope. My children want candy, but there isn’t any money to buy them any. My son wants to get married. I look to the sky and pray, because I know that I can’t help them.”

One wouldn’t be wrong if you thought many Gazans want the IDF to kick Hamas out, and for the Jews come back home — to Gush Katif.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-tax-revenue-from-israeli-imports-nis-175000000/2015/01/02/

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