Science & Technology
- Written by AgroMashov
Purple, butter-flavored potatoes, purple beans and carrots shaped like tennis balls - The 21st Agro-Mashov Exhibition in Israel is being launched with a variety of innovations and developments.
Purple, butter-flavored potatoes, elongated strawberries in the shape of a finger, yellow, white and purple carrots, purple beans and guavas without a smell. Welcome to the 21st Agro-Mashov international exhibition and conference, which will be held on 2nd-3rd March at the Exhibition Grounds in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Thousands of visitors and participants as well as hundreds of local and international exhibitors are expected at the exhibition. This year the exhibition will focus on the search for technological solutions to the problems of the global food and water shortage.
The 21st Agro-Mashov Exhibition will take place on 2nd and 3rd March 2011, and will gather together the major players in global agriculture including farmers, merchants and entrepreneurs working in the industry, for two days of fascinating meetings.
The thousands of visitors expected to come to the exhibition will be surprised by the scope of the professional innovations that will be presented at the hundreds of booths of the leading companies in the industry. Among the innovations in the exhibition can be seen: modern potatoes in purple hues, while cutting them up will reveal their yellow flesh. The "Retta" Potatoes are considered to be a new "gourmet" agricultural product due to the buttery taste they offer.
Next to them are waiting strawberries of the Malakh strain, long like fingers and narrow like roots, and which have a particularly sweet taste. Even the carrots are no longer orange or long, but come in a variety of colors, yellow, purple and white. For those looking for more changes, they can be found in round form in the shape of a tennis ball.
Along with the innovations in the fruit and vegetable industry, innovative technological solutions in the agricultural sector will be displayed. Hundreds of Israeli and international companies will display global solutions for increasing the harvest and advancing the exploitation of the agricultural land available to the growers. At the same time there will be conferences, international symposiums and summit meetings with the participation of leading and senior professionals in the industry from Israel and abroad.
The 21st Agro-Mashov Exhibition will be held on 2nd – 3rd March 2011 at the Exhibition Grounds in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Written by AgroMashov
On Wednesday 29th December, at 8am, forty journalists from all over the globe, from Taiwan to Belgium set out on an Agro-Mashov tour, in advance of the agro-mashov exposition that will take place in the coming 2nd and 3rd of March at the Tel Aviv exhibition grounds; one of Israel’s most renowned events and also its greatest annual, international, agricultural exhibition.
The worldwide and unique event which has an average of 20,000 visitors in past years, from fifty different states, will encompass new innovations in global agriculture, developments in agricultural mechanization, new varieties of fruits, vegetables and flowers and of course a visit of delegations from around the World. The Israeli Agro-Mashav exposition has become the natural meeting point of the modern world’s agricultural village because it is a leading pioneer in the industry.
This year is also a particularly special year as it has been reported that the event will host the Palestinian Agricultural Minister, Dr. Ismail Daak and about two hundred Palestinian farmers, a great initiative towards bringing the two peoples closer. A senior official in the Palestinian Authority stated that the two hundred Palestinian farmers: ‘promote many projects in agriculture, allowing farmers on both sides to expand their knowledge of work practices and to be updated about innovations in the industry.’
Many international brands are represented at the exhibition: Carmel, Jaffo, Pure Line Seeds, John Deere, to name just a few and the event has attracted people from all over the world, who use the exhibition in order to update themselves on new innovations and to nurture international cooperation. The event has also become the forum for the start of joint venture projects and business deals between different agricultural companies. Of the numerous, renowned, Israeli agricultural companies that are to be represented in this yearly phenomenon is Hishtil, the highly successful plantation business, the market leader in the world of advanced horticulture nurseries. The company is constantly involved in joint venture projects around the world and in 2009, sold over one billion plants. Ecopak is another company to be present at the event, which is the business which produces a new more hygienic, recyclable and flexible form of packaging of fruit and vegetables and replaces cartons. This project is very likely to soon become an international phenomenon.
This unique event provides a golden opportunity for all agricultural representatives and members of the agro-business manufacture to present their products and services and also for buyers to create new commercial contacts. It is one of the biggest international, agricultural events and in its aftermath thousands of new and successful business deals are closed.
This March, come and witness the hub of new agricultural innovations at the Agro-Mashov exhibition in Tel Aviv.
- Written by British Council
Announced by British Foreign Secretary William Hague
Jerusalem, November 4, 2010 – Prof. Jaap van Rijn of the Hebrew University has been selected to receive funding through the Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX) for a joint project focusing on bacterially mediated removal of phosphorus in a non-polluting intensive mariculture system.
The announcement was made last night by British Foreign Secretary William Hague at an event hosted by Britain's Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, celebrating scientific cooperation between the UK and Israel. Hague hailed science as "one of the cornerstones of the relationship between Britain and Israel".
Prof. van Rijn of the Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and his UK partner, Prof. Michael D. Krom from the University of Leeds, were one of ten joint British-Israeli research projects aimed at tackling challenges in energy and the environment. Their project aims to find a novel process for phosphorus removal in environmentally friendly fish culture systems.
Prof. van Rijn, who has created a system to grow marine fish in concrete or plastic-lined plastic basins independent of the sea, says that phosphorus from agricultural run off and from industrial and domestic waste is polluting oceans and fresh water resources. "We have found that mineralization of the phosphorus in our fish basins is mediated by a novel transformation process that could help us in understanding the global phosphorus transformation processes taking place in the larger water bodies such as oceans."
He further explains, "Of more practical importance, it has been calculated that we will run out of natural apatite deposits, the mineral used to provide phosphate in fertilizers for agricultural use, in the foreseeable future. The system presents one of the first commercially operating agricultural systems in which phosphorus is captured in the ideal form (apatite) which can then be reused for agricultural use."
The projects were selected for their innovation, the strength of the collaboration and the long-term prospects for continuing the project and its potential impact.
Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Daniel Hershkowitz responded to the announcement, saying, “The scientific cooperation agreement with Britain, like similar agreements with other countries, is additional proof of Israel’s status as a world scientific power.”
BIRAX was launched in 2008 by the Israeli and British Prime Ministers with the aim of strengthening academic collaboration between the two countries. The scheme funds visits between institutions in the UK and Israel and enables the building of deeper, lasting relationships between scientists with similar interests.
The major funders of the scheme are the Pears Foundation and UJIA. Other funders include Britain's department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Science and Technology in Israel. The scheme was designed by the British Council in collaboration with the Pears Foundation and academic leaders from both countries and is managed by the British Council in Israel.
According to Trevor Pears, Executive Chair of the Pears Foundation, “We are delighted to see our partnership with the British Council continue to deepen academic cooperation and research between Britain and Israel. We hope that these links will continue to grow and flourish for many years to come for the benefit of Britain, Israel and the world.”
The Pears Foundation is also a major supporter of the Hebrew University's International Master's in Public Health program at the Faculty and Medicine and the international Master's programs in plant sciences and nutrition at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
- Written by Rambam Health Care Campus
For Dr. Rania Elkhatib, the first Israeli Arab woman to become a plastic surgeon in Israel, the job at Rambam Medical Center is a chance to be an emissary for her community.
The first Israeli Arab woman to become a plastic surgeon, Dr RaniaElkhatib works at the Rambam Medical Center, the largest hospital in northern Israel.
After studying medicine at the Technion -- Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and then specializing in general surgery, the 28-year-old doctor decided to focus on plastic surgery: "... It was important to me because in our community plastic surgery isn't very advanced and it's not well accepted so I feel a bit like an emissary for my community, to go into this field and take it forward," she says.
Situated in Haifa, Rambam is the referral center for 11 district hospitals. Its plastic surgeons treat a number of conditions, ranging from burns, war injuries and cleft palates to breast and facial reconstruction for cancer patients.
Thirty percent of doctors at Rambam are women, and the representation of Arab physicians is proportionate to the numbers in the population.
While the hospital is committed to providing equal opportunities, Prof. Yehuda Ullmann, head of the plastic surgery department, stresses that doctors are chosen purely on merit: "Plastic surgery residency is the most wanted residency in medicine not just in Israel but all over the world, and she was elected not because she's Arab, not because she's a woman, because she is Dr. Elkhatib and she is good and she is a very good doctor over here so we are lucky to have her here."
For decades, Israel has been improving and perfecting Desertification Solutions. With increasing soil erosion, salinization and groundwater mismanagement, it's time to share those solutions with the world.
The conference, to be held between November 8-11, will be hosted at Ben Gurion University's Sde Boker campus in cooperation with UNESCO.
(By Avigayil Kadesh)
In a country where 97 percent of the land is arid, the problem of desertification looms large. Over the past several decades, Israel has not only "made the desert bloom," as the saying goes, but has also invested major resources in learning how to keep dry lands from overtaking fertile soil.
Many other countries were slow to understand the significance of this global crisis. Now that problems such as soil erosion, salinization, climate change and groundwater mismanagement have heightened awareness of the devastating effects of desertification, Israel is honing its expertise and offering it far beyond its own borders.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev's (BGU) Prof. Alon Tal describes desertification as "the orphan of global environmental problems on our planet" because it was not high on most nations' list of priorities. But today it is acknowledged as one of the main reasons why more than 200 million people around the globe are threatened with poverty and hunger.
A catalyst for cooperation and collaboration
Tal, a desert ecologist at BGU's Jacob Blaustein Institutes of Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University (BGU) and founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, organized the November 8-11 third annual International Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification: The Route to Restoration.
The conference will be hosted at BGU's Sde Boker campus in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is the second conference in Israel on the subject. More than 500 government officials and academics from 50 countries, including Palestinian and Jordanian delegates, will participate.
"We believe that by bringing a diverse group of academics, professionals and policy-makers together to confront the myriad critical issues of desertification, the BGU conference can serve as a meaningful catalyst for cooperative and collaborative projects in the future at the global level," says Tal.
Attendees will discuss the public health aspects of desertification; sustainable building in desert environments; remote sensing to assess how flora are responding to anti-desertification attempts; grazing and the Bedouin community; the future of the Dead Sea; environmental education and dry-land agriculture; and soil and water restoration.
The Israel triangle
Two years ago, forestry experts from several African countries participated in a three-day seminar on desertification. The event was initiated by MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, together with Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael - Jewish National Fund, and CINADCO, the Center for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Participants gained pointers on establishing forests, collecting and germinating seeds, managing nurseries, and fostering forest-related industries such as honey production and ecological tourism, according to David Brand, head forester for KKL-JNF.
Israel also excels at wastewater management, a crucial aspect in fighting desertification. About half the water used for agriculture cycles through 240 KKL-JNF-built reservoirs. Israel reuses about 74 percent of its wastewater; in comparison, Spain, the second-most efficient country in this area, reuses only 20%.
Government agriculture officials from nations including Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, China, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso learned how Israel structures its efforts in a 'triangle' of research, advising, and fieldwork, Brand relates.
Tal strongly endorses this sort of information sharing. "If you do nothing about desertification, people will starve and die," he states. The UN, as well, encourages developed nations such as Israel to provide assistance to developing countries in fighting desertification.
Israel's moral obligation to provide expertise
What Israel has to offer is its proficiency in restoring marginal lands, and protecting its dry lands from further deterioration. Parts of the Negev desert have been transformed into a productive breadbasket, actually reducing the desert's size significantly since 1948. KKL-JNF planted forests are thriving and salt- and drought-resistant crops are flourishing thanks to advanced agricultural methods. The desert is dotted with commercial fishponds and with healthful algae used for manufacturing pharmaceuticals and health foods.
In fact, says Tal, algae grow better in dry areas. This is one example of how the desert setting offers advantages. Arid spaces are also perfect settings for solar and wind power, as well as trails for hiking.
Tal, a North Carolina native, works closely with Israel's neighbors. He co-authored a model for an agreement on environmental cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and represents Israel at UN conferences on desertification alongside Dr. Uriel Safriel, professor of ecology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and - according to Tal - a "true hero" who is the world's leading authority on desertification.
"Desertification is not, as it's often perceived, about vast sand dunes expanding and overwhelming villages," he says. "Although this happens in some places, it is simply a loss of soil fertility due to many factors whose long-term impacts are far greater in dry lands. This manifests itself in the scenes you see on television of millions of hungry people without food. Israel is recognized as a country which for some time has taken on the challenge of reversing these trends. Now, we have a moral obligation to be a light unto the nations and offer our capabilities."