Abigail Klein Leichman
May 17, 2018

“Making the desert bloom” is not just a cliché – it is the reality of what Israeli farmers have accomplished, against all odds, in less than a century.

Despite frequent droughts, scarce and poorly distributed rainfall, sandy soil and arid conditions in much of the country, Israel has become the Middle East’s breadbasket through ingenious agricultural technologies such as micro-drip irrigation and reusing treated wastewater for growing crops.

Workers picking broccoli in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Photo by Anat Hermony/FLASH90

Israeli agronomists have developed many improved types of crops as well as seeds that withstand diseases, harsh conditions and brackish water.

Prof. Danny Zamir of Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment with a hybrid variety of high-yield industrial tomatoes that became popular in the California vegetable market. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90

The main vegetables grown in Israel are tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, herbs and melons.

Watermelons growing in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Photo by Anat Hermony/FLASH90

The main field crops in Israel are wheat, sunflowers, groundnuts and chickpeas.

Wheat growing near Latrun. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90

Apples, grapes, peaches, mangos, plums, pears and apricots are the top fruits, along with mandarins, oranges, grapefruits and lemons.

Grapes growing at Tel Fares vineyard in the Golan Heights. Photo by Maor Kinsbursky/FLASH90

Israel’s organic farmers are focused mainly on potatoes, carrots, peppers, avocados and citrus fruit.

Harvested carrots in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Photo by Anat Hermony/FLASH90
Green peppers growing on Kibbutz Yitav in the Jordan Valley. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

Today, Israel produces about 95 percent of the crops needed for domestic consumption. Much of the bounty, as well as agricultural technologies and expertise, is exported to other countries and shared with developed and developing nations.

Clementine trees in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Photo by Anat Hermony/FLASH90
Harvesting olives at the Carma farm in the Judean desert. Photo by Yaniv Nadav/FLASH90

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