The cooperation between Israel and Africa in the field of agriculture began as far back as 1958 when Israel’s Foreign Minister at that time, Golda Meir, visited Africa and promised Israeli help in finding solutions to the serious challenges the continent faced, particularly in food security and water safety.This promise has been kept over the years by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s agency for International development, particularly in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan and Uganda, as well as other African countries.
Today a number of African countries take advantage of the agricultural tours and seminars offered by Vered Hasharon. These countries send groups of farmers and others involved in food production to Israel to learn about the most up to date agricultural technologies in fruit farming, fish farming, dairy farming and horticulture, assisting them in improving and developing their farming abilities back home.
Because only 20% of the land in Israel is arable and of that nearly a half is arid or semi-arid, Israel has had to find a way to turn the desert into cultivable land. This has been achieved by the use of drip irrigation systems with brackish water and by adjusting crops to high temperature. Many vegetables are being successfully grown under these conditions.
The success story of the Dairy industry in Israel is a result of more than 60 years of Research and development that has resulted in a high milk productivity. This is due to the development of cooling methods to reduce the body temperature in cows in a very hot climate and other methods which make it possible to produce more milk with fewer cows.
More and more agro tourists from Africa have been learning about all the latest agricultural advances in Israel including Greenhouse cultivation which is particularly suitable for areas where the soil is unsuitable and water scarce. Also of interest for African farmers is fish farming which is a fast solution for the supply of protein to the population as in only a short time very large quantities of Tilapia fish can be grown in earthen ponds. This is of particular importance in developing countries.