Israel’s hi-tech agricultural solutions

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Hundreds of company and state representatives from around the world came to hear about revolutionary Israeli products for the food industry.

Israel showed off the cutting-edge technology that local companies offer in the agriculture and food fields to hundreds of representatives from over 40 countries during a four-day conference held in June.

At Agriisrael 4.0, which describes itself as “the fourth agricultural revolution,” over 100 Israeli companies, including two dozen start-ups, showed off their wares.

State and corporate agents were treated to live demonstrations of how sensors, drones, artificial intelligence and satellites can increase yields and protect crops, orchards and even beehives.

In a Western world where farm workers grow ever scarcer, they saw how drones can pick apples and robots can collect tomatoes. In a time of global warming, they were exposed to how big data and satellite imagery can analyze when is the best time to irrigate fields and how much water should be used. And when Colony Collapse Disorder is still a global threat to bees, which pollinate 70 percent of the crops that feed the world, they learnt how Israeli sensors can save hives.

“Israel’s agricultural industry has been a world leader in terms of development and innovation as a whole,” said Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute Deputy Director-General Lior Konitzki. “Nowadays, when we see the real integration of technology into agriculture, Israel will be leading the scene as a real global player. Israeli technology is relevant all over the world, whether it is tackling water scarcity in California or precision farming in Holland.”

Israeli companies are also finding solutions to help the food chain. They showed off technology that can monitor and supervise inventories of perishables and non-perishables to representatives of conglomerates that sell food all over the world.

The conference was a joint venture of the country’s foreign, agriculture, and economy and industry ministries and the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.

Currently, Israeli agritech exports are valued at some $9 billion, with 93 percent of it going to Europe, the United States, South America and Australia.