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April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

China Buys Israeli Smart Irrigation Tech Company for $20 Million

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

China’s Yuanda Enterprise Group announced last week that it had bought the Israeli company AutoAgronome Israel Ltd for $20 million in order to expand its business to high-tech agriculture. The Israeli company produces smart irrigation and fertilization systems that are successfully used with 70 different types of crops in 13 countries including the United Kingdom.

“The movement to new technology is huge. Every year, the area of drip irrigation system farming in China increases about 20 percent, which is more than all in Israel and Europe together. It’s a huge market in China,” said Nissim Daniely, the general manager of AutoAgronom in China Daily.

Scientists at the China Agricultural University in Beijing believe that smart-farming techniques are the key to China’s food problems in a study released in early September. The acquisition of the Israeli smart irrigation tech company is significant in China’s struggles with food security.

Founded in 1988, AutoAgronom is the only full automatic system in the world which applies water and fertilizers without human intervention according to the company’s website. The system is based on more than 20 years of research and can reduce water consumption per acre from 500 tons to 150 tons, making it an affordable alternative for farmers.

“The plant tells you what it wants exactly with this system,” said David Kaholi, an Israeli farmer of the AutoAgronom system. The system works through monitoring the root of the plant with sensors and an electronic tensiometer that works around the clock, transmitting data from the root to the controller software. On the basis of the data reaching the system, it will decrease or increase fertilizer and water amounts, saving up to 50% in water and 70% in fertilizer delivery, while increasing yield.

Decreasing fertilizer use also protects the environment as less fertilizer pollutants reach underground water and lakes.

The Chinese company will take over the marketing for Israeli system. “Our cooperation is like a marriage. We offer technology and Yuanda focuses on marketing,” added Daniely.
Yuanda is also making plans to take the Israeli system abroad. “The system can help us to farm on sand, saline-alkali soil or even on the Gobi [desert], which may restore underground water and help manage heavy metal and garbage pollution,” said Kang Baohua, chairman of the Yuanda Enterprise Group in the China Daily.

IDF Stands By as Al Qaeda Offensive Threatens Golan Farmers

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The IDF warned Golan Heights farmers Sunday that they are liable to be victims of stray rocket and mortar shell fire as Al Qaeda-led rebels advance in their offensive against the army of Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

At least one mortar shell exploded in the northern Golan Heights on Friday.

Israel has been careful to stay out of the civil war, now in its fourth year, but the IDF occasionally has responded to several firing incidents that appeared to be aimed at Israel.

So what do you do when your terrorist neighbors, whether Assad, ISIS or Al Qaeda, are killing and beheading each other, but an occasional rocket just happens to fall in your back yard?

You duck.

The IDF says, “Be careful,” and it is hard to criticize the walk-on-eggs policy.

If Israeli soldiers start showing their guns and attack rebel or loyalist positions, Israel, in a single step, or shot if you prefer, could instantly turn the ISIS, Assad and Al Qaeda into allies with the ultimate common enemy, those terrible Zionists.

You know, those are the ones who are occupying territory that was mostly uninhabited except for a Druze city and Syrian army positions used to pound Israeli farmers along the Kinneret until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Now, the shooting has shifted to the Golan Heights, where farmers have the option of being careful while they work or are being even more careful by not working.

But the IDF is not likely the bill for apples that are not picked and for cattle that are not grazing in the pasture.

The farmers are suffering, but at least they have the satisfaction of knowing that with every day, there are a few less terrorists on the other side of the border.

If the farmers can be agile enough to duck quickly, and the IDF can restrain from firing back, there might be peace on the day that the last terrorist blows himself up in frustration because there is no one else left to kill, except, of course, for Israelis.

 

Arid State of Nevada Seeks Help from Israeli Agricultural Experts

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Nevada is hoping to share best practices on water and crops with Israel In a campaign to revitalize its barren terrain.

The desert-heavy U.S. state’s governor, Brian Sandoval, is planning a trip to Israel’s Negev in October to learn more about indoor farming, and how using Israeli technology could rejuvenate Nevada’s lackluster farming industry.

Nevada suffers greatly due to its lack of water or farmable terrain, and has only 40 acres of indoor farming statewide. An estimated $4 billion was spent on importing food for Las Vegas tourists over the last year. Israel, meanwhile, has historically adapted to chronic water shortages.

“One of the prominent areas of mutual interest is water management,” explained Uri Resnick, deputy consul general of Israel to the Southwest United States, Jspace.com reported.

 

 

Punjab Farmers Learn Farming Techniques from Israel

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

A 10-member delegation of dairy farmers from the Punjab region of India recently visited Israel to participate in a training program about modern dairy farming techniques at kibbutzim and moshavim across Israel.

A member of the delegation, Karnail Singh, told the Times of India that weather conditions in Israel are similar to Punjab but that in Israel there are “special arrangements to control heat stress.”

Singh noted that many dairy farms in Israel employ such technology as solar systems that generate electricity for the farming functions. There are 776 family-owned farms and 163 cooperative-based farms in Israel.

The Punjab delegation also included veterinarians, researchers and staff from the Punjab Dairy Development Board.

Israeli Scientists Offer Solution to Famine

Monday, August 19th, 2013

An Israeli team of scientists has developed a new technology which may minimize famine and strife by enabling crops to weather droughts worldwide.

Professor Shimon Gepstein, Chancellor of the Kinneret College, is leading a team to genetically engineer a plant that can withstand droughts by “freezing itself” after not receiving water for a certain period of time, and then “returning to life” after the water supply is renewed, without incurring any damage to the plant’s physical structure.

A spokesman for the Kinneret College told Tazpit News Agency that the findings already are being implemented and that international firms have expressed interest in the technology.

The finding was discovered by chance while running experiments on prolonging plants’ longevity and the shelf-life of vegetables. Experimenting on tobacco leaves, the scientists were able to develop a plant that lives twice as long as the average tobacco plant, providing flowers and fruits long after the regular plants have withered and died. When the tips of the leaves were cut off, the regular plants yellowed and died after a week, whereas the genetically engineered plants stayed green for a full 21 days.

The breakthrough was revealed when some of the plants were left in the green house unattended for four weeks. Tobacco plants require watering every two to three days.

When the team discovered that the unaltered plants had not lost their vitality, it decided on a series of monitored tests on regular and engineered plants that were not watered for three weeks. The regular plants died, and the engineered plants once again began to grow after receiving water, having incurred no damage during the “drought.”

The new technology, if successful commercially, would create a revolution as scientists forecast that climate changes will increase the number and severity of worldwide droughts.

In Israel and other arid areas, wheat planted at the beginning of the winter and the developing shoots after early rain will be able to survive a drought afterwards.

The new technology also could alleviate a growing global water shortage. The plants that survived the experiment used only one-third of the usual amount required.

Plague of Locusts Returns to Israel for Shavuot

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The plague of locusts that Israel defeated just as the Passover holiday approached has come back in a fury seven weeks later on the eve of Shavuot.

Approximately 30 million locusts have landed in the Western Negev and threatened to wipe out Israeli farmers’ crops. The Agriculture Ministry is using helicopters and pickup trucks to combat the insects with spray and prevent a total disaster to farms that have carried out the dream of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, by making the desert bloom.

“They are easy targets now, but in two or three days when their wings develop, it will be a disaster,” Lior Katari, one of the Agriculture Ministry’s coordinators, told NBC.

Experts think that despite the spraying of the locusts two months ago, the insects already had mated and laid eggs in the sand and which now are hatching.

The appearance of the Biblical plague has ironically made the desert green, the color of the locusts.

Organic farmers have little hope. NBC quoted organic farm owner Golan Cohen as saying that volunteer workers have helped  out at the herb farm by banging on pots to keep the pests away.

“They were eating the weeds at first, they were small, so we ignored them,” said Golan Cohen,

After the threat of devastation grew worse, workers tried the noise-making method. “It worked,” said Dror Cohen-Chen, a worker on the farm. However, “The next day we came back and they had destroyed everything.”

“Three thousand years ago God sent the Egyptians a plague of locusts; now we are getting them back,” said a one local resident.

Chinese Media Ho-Hum on Netanyahu’s Visit

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Chinese media have reported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s current visit as secondary news, reflecting China’s distance from the Israeli-Palestinian Authority issue.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is also in China, and his visit has gained slightly more attention than Netanyahu’s.

The Prime Minister’s main mission is economic, and Israel’s trump card in any political dealings between Beijing and Ramallah is Israel’s capacity for helping China in the fields of agriculture and high technology.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported a seven-paragraph blurb on Netanyahu’s first day in the country, with most of the report referring to his scheduled tour of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The site illustrates Shanghai’s providing a safe heaven for approximately 30,000 Jewish refugees from the Nazi Holocaust.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has not brought up the matter of Syria in his visit and is not likely to talk about considering China’s objections to foreign intervention and its condemnation Sunday of Israel’s bombing of Iranian missiles in Syria that were headed for Hezbollah.

Abbas is trying to convince China to be more vocal in his bid for declaring the Palestinian Authority an independent country based on his own definitions while ditching a negotiated agreement with Israel.

However, China has little to gain from joining Abbas’ worldwide campaign for support and has a lot more to gain from Israel’s technology.

China Central television gave Abbas more coverage than Netanyahu, and Chinese President Xi Jinping presented a four-point proposal for Palestinian Authority.

The People’s Daily featured a photo of Abbas and the Chinese president shaking hands, and the caption read, “China firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people.”

However, experts in China doubt that Abbas will receive much more than headlines.

Prof Yin Gang, associated with a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences state-run think-tank, said Beijing is “very unlikely” to playa significant part in the deadlock between Jerusalem and Ramallah, according to the South China Morning Post.

Li Shaoxian, a Middle East expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a state security ministry-affiliated think-tank, told China Daily that China can “hardly match” Washington’s role in the Middle East.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/chinese-media-ho-hum-on-netanyahus-visit/2013/05/07/

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