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Israeli agricultural report for 5784 - 2024

Israeli agricultural report for 5784 - 2024

Israeli agricultural report. As consumers, we must remember that Israeli agriculture offers added value, making the cheaper option not always worthwhile.

Agronomist Yehuda Heller, R&D Department of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute, 5784

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Israeli agriculture is no longer merely just another commercial branch of the economy. Since our existence as a nation began, and even in our latest return to Zion, agriculture has been an anchor connecting the Jewish People to their land. As Joseph Trumpeldor said, "Wherever the Jewish plow plows its last furrow, there our border run." Despite the extensive areas occupied by agriculture, part of the general public is not exposed to the trends in the field. Many organizations promote agriculture and disseminate information about it, but sometimes the general public lacks a concise and comprehensive perspective. This report aims at providing this overview.

The report attempts to provide a general picture but also focuses on specific areas such as the border regions, where agriculture is a basic security need and a vital interest for the country's existence. It also identifies the crops where major processes are occurring for better or worse. The data is based primarily on information from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), with all caveats regarding the accuracy, as stated by these entities in their reports. Since CBS data is available only up to the previous year, the report mainly refers to the years 2020-2022, with references to trends over the past decades.

Agriculture constitutes a significant part of the nation's connection to its roots and the values of the Land of Israel. We hope that the publication of this report will assist in understanding the importance of agriculture, the challenges it faces, and our obligation to find ways to sustain it. For the sake of settling the land, for our sake, and the sake of future generations.


The coming years are expected to challenge the ability of Israeli agriculture to continue thriving amid current challenges and imports. Israeli farmers face rising input costs for water, fertilizers, and other necessities. Furthermore, labor costs have surged in recent years due to legal issues. It is incumbent upon the government and other stakeholders to find ways to strengthen Israeli agriculture while promoting the economy.

In recent years, discourse has emerged linking the cost of living with the importance of agriculture, including the issue of imports. We will not delve deeply into this matter here but are confident that if the unique value of agriculture is understood—for security, border protection, and many other values—a way will be found to support and sustain Israeli agriculture along with other values such as food accessibility for the entire population.

Regarding available dunams for expanding cultivation, we can mention the desert periphery areas, mainly in the Negev, where there is a slow process of finding suitable cultivation methods and utilizing local resources. Vineyards have been established in the Negev highlands, and vegetable cultivation has developed in the Halutza and Besor areas. Furthermore, thousands of dunams of orchards, mainly wine vineyards, have been planted in Judea and Samaria over the past decade. In the Jordan Valley, thousands of dunams are appropriated for covered vegetable crops.

Finding crops with relative local advantages, continuing to promote mechanization, reducing dependency on human labor, and ongoing research on crop health maintenance can advance agriculture in years to come. Israel is blessed with varied climate zones, allowing for optimal cultivation areas for each crop and season. It seems that this potential is still far from being realized. Furthermore, local agriculture should be encouraged to operate in ways that preserve the land, invest in infrastructure and cultivation methods that prevent future problems, and continue the innovative developments successfully promoted by agricultural research in the country. As consumers, we must remember that Israeli agriculture offers added value, making the cheaper option not always worthwhile.


Click here to see the full report.