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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Agriculture Minister: Israeli Farmers Will Export Cannabis in Two Years

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) is planning for Israel to begin exporting medical cannabis, Cannabis Magazine reported on Sunday. Referring to the new experimental cannabis farm at Israel’s Volcani Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Ariel promised that “within two years we will have a regulated protocol for growing cannabis, at which point we’ll allow farmers to grow it.” Nevertheless, the minister would not refer to Cannabis as an agricultural product.

The program regulating the medical cannabis industry was approved by the Israeli government some two months ago. But because of the objections of Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ), and despite the support of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), the program does not include approval for growing cannabis for export.

Unfortunately, cannabis growers in Israel are saying the only way they could afford to sell their product in Israel at a reasonable price is if they could raise most of their crops for export.

At the same time, the fact that the Volcani Institute is experimenting with Israeli cannabis suggests that eventually, when the time is right politically, Israeli cannabis might blow the competition out of the bong, since it is renowned for its agricultural research, focusing on plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil and environmental sciences, food sciences, and agricultural engineering, that have made Israeli farm products among the most prized in the world.

A sign announcing the launch of Israel's health ministry's medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

A sign announcing the launch of Israel’s health ministry’s medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

Over the weekend, Minister Ariel told Israel Radio that “the Agriculture Ministry is now devoting significant-size plots for experimentation and exhibition of cannabis growing,” in preparation for instructing Israeli farmers on the most efficient and productive methods of growing the plant. Ariel said he does intend to eventually reach a political consensus in the Netanyahu cabinet in favor of exporting cannabis. He expects the process of cultivating products, developing the proper protocol for growing and shipping, and getting political approval to take about two years, which means this could take place during the current Netanyahu government.


Russia Punishes Turkey by Importing Tomatoes from Israel

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Russia may be giving a Thanksgiving turkey to Israel in the form of tomatoes that it will import following a sudden ban on accepting produce from Turkey, another punishment for Ankara’s downing a Russian plane this week.

Now that Turkey is a rotten tomato for Russia, Israel will benefit from the need to find 360,000 tons of tomatoes to replace the banned imports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin already has ended security cooperation with Turkey and has asked Russians not visit the country. Moscow invented a diplomatic reason for the ban of food imports from Turkey, claiming that 15 percent of the agricultural imports from Ankara suddenly do not meet “sanitary regulations.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists:

We’re not imposing any embargo.

These (restrictions) are introduced due to an increasing danger from various manifestations of extremism. Of course, additional control measures are taken. This is rather natural, especially taking into account the unpredictable actions of the Republic of Turkey.

Turkish media quoted a member of the Turkish Exporters Association as saying:

Turkish vegetables account for 20 percent of the total Russian imports of vegetables. Import of vegetables, tomatoes in the first place, will be substituted with those from Iran, Morocco, Israel, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan.

Israel’s benefiting from Turkey’s intercept of the Russian is a double punishment for Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, whose wounds from the Russian reaction will be salted with the bonus for Israel.

He has not forgiven Israel for boarding the IHH-terrorist infested Mavi Mamara ship five years ago and killing 10 IHH terrorists who tried to kill Navy officers stopping the vessel from breaking the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The only negative might be a rise in the price of tomatoes in Israeli supermarkets because of the increased demand from Russia.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pres-rivlin-receives-first-fruits-of-the-field-for-shavuot/2015/05/21/

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