How To Grow Crops In the Desert: South Africa Learns From Israel

How To Grow Crops In the Desert: South Africa Learns From Israel

From the Jerusalem Post.

A team of agricultural experts from South Africa visited Israel’s Arava desert region earlier this month to learn about developing sustainable agriculture in adverse conditions.

The Jewish National Funds of South Africa and Israel are helping create a center for agricultural education in South Africa, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

Quentin Naidoo, head of the South African Food and Trees for Africa program, visited Israel’s Central and Northern Arava Research and Development Station with Arnold Derembwe and Lucky Xaba.

The Arava region is located between the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and the city of Eilat on the tip of the Red Sea.

Less than 4,000 people live in the region, producing about 60 percent of Israel’s total exports of fresh vegetables and 15 percent of its ornamentals exports, according to Arava R&D.

“I’m very impressed by the determination and persistence of the Arava farmers,” Naidoo said in the Jerusalem Post report. “We need passion like this in Africa. What we have been shown… proves that it can be done.”

Derembwe, FEED Africa program manager, said, “I don’t think it would occur to me to invest in agriculture in an area like the Arava desert. What you have done here is overwhelming, and to achieve it, everyone has to put their hands on deck. It couldn’t be achieved individually. It takes a collective effort.”

Read more at Jerusalem Post.