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DesertTech and AgriTech
Research and Innovation Center
Ramat HaNegev is the largest regional council in Israel, covering over 4.2 million dunams, 22% of the state of Israel.
Ramat Negev Desert Agro Research and Innovation Center is one of Israel's leading facilities in desert agriculture. Founded 1981 in the heart of the Israeli desert, the center focuses on growing food in semi-arid and arid areas.
Our farmers grow various crops, including 70% of the Israeli cherry tomato produce, olives, strawberries, dairy products, wine grapes, exotic mushrooms, blueberries, pineapples, Asian greens, potatoes, and much more - all on arid land.
In the last four decades, the center has gained immense experience researching solutions for profitable and advanced agriculture. Our goal is to continuously improve crop diversity and yields by optimizing water supply, various soil types, fertilization, pest control, and other resources.
Ramat Negev has also become a leader in renewable energy, producing 45% of the renewable energy utilized by Israel. Our state-of-the-art renewable energy enterprise includes three major solar energy plants located near the village of Ashalim.
The center carries out research in collaboration with academic institutions and works in symbiotic cooperation with neighboring farms. As a result, it produces practical solutions that are implemented immediately in commercial fields, greenhouses, and orchards.
Our research focuses on the following goals:
Testing new varieties of vegetables and citrus fruits
Improving agro techniques
Streamlining irrigation and fertilization
Saving manual labor costs
The experiments are performed on a wide variety of crops, including tomatoes, peppers, melons, herbs, cucumbers, eggplants, olives, pomegranates, edible/wine grapes, dates, jojoba, and more.
The mission at Ramat Negev Desert Agro Research Center is to share experience and expertise with every part of the world that is facing challenging agricultural conditions.
Throughout the years, the center has supported agricultural activities in different countries. Our profound experience managing agricultural projects and establishing research centers and greenhouses brings a comparative advantage and proven success in desert agriculture to the world.
In Egypt, the center helped establish and manage an experimental facility researching different types of crops to determine which are optimal to grow in the Marryat region. The project yielded excellent results, making the Marryat region the leading strawberry producer in Egypt and a prominent world contributor.
In the United States, the center partnered with the Hopi Native American tribe, aiding them in enhancing their farming techniques with the help of innovative and advanced technologies.
The international training center offers courses to students worldwide, allowing them to gain unique knowledge and practical experience in various fields of advanced agriculture. The courses include professional practice and fieldwork in addition to theoretical knowledge.
The school offers various agriculture courses, such as dairy farming, fishing, crop, and handling. The knowledge and skills trainees acquire in the 11-month program can later be applied to improve farms and crops in their home countries.
The center provides three additional services:
Instructors for agricultural courses
Online consultations with an agronomist for farmers and businesses
Apprenticeships for researchers to acquire practical experience
The unique crops that grow at the center and the neighboring farms, including the famous cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, snow peas, vineyards, olives, jojoba, dates, and fresh herbs such as mint, basil, salicornia, and more
The produce is exported to international markets and brings the distinguished taste of Israeli desert agriculture to the world.
The center specializes in acclimatizing new products and creating research infrastructure and professional guidelines for new crops.
Experience and knowledge, coupled with technologies and tools, allow the research center to grow almost anything – almost anywhere.
The center is situated in the desert, near Wadi Habesor, 30 km south of Beer Sheva.
Coordinates: Lat. 31 05' 00" Long. 34 41' 03"
Altitude: 305 m.
Average Rainfall: 90 mm/yr
Available Soil Types
The site was specifically chosen at a point where two different types of soil converge.
Clay percentage of 1 - 5 %
pH of 7.8 - 8.2
Light loess (i.e. eolian sandy loam derived from coastal sand dunes originating from the Nile)
Clay percentage of 6 - 8 %
pH of 7.2 - 7.4 (up to 8)
Available Water Qualities
Mixing two waters or adding brine allows the obtaining of any salinity level needed for cultivation.
Salinity: EC = 0.4 dS/m, 40 mg CI¯1
Source: Israel's National Water Carrier (desalinated)
Brackish water (extracted at a temperature of 38C/100F)
Salinity: EC = 4 - 7 dS/m 1,600 mg CI¯1
Source: Seven local sources with water levels at least 300m below surface
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