If Israel’s enemies would only make peace with the Jewish state, so many of their problems related to hunger and lack of water could be solved.
This isn’t science fiction. This is fact. Israel is one of the few nations on earth that either has or can develop solutions to end world hunger, something that affects no fewer than 78 million people.
All across our region in particular (speaking of Asia and Africa), nations are clamoring for advanced farming techniques and technology to offset material shortages, low soil fertility, water scarcity and energy depletion, all of which are the result of unprecedented population growth. Israel has developed advanced agricultural techniques and, despite its small size, has become a global leader in the field through innovations such as drip irrigation, which has truly made the desert bloom.
Similarly, the Jewish state has developed grazing systems and distribution of livestock, thus leading to groundbreaking increases in dairy productivity.
Evidence of Israel’s excellence in these fields can be seen in the number of foreign specialists (in particular of late from India) coming to Israeli universities and research centers to gain the knowledge and experience needed to help their own peoples.
This is even more of an achievement when one considers that Israel’s universities, research centers and government are today far more focused on the hi-tech industry than on agriculture. Most of Israel’s best and brightest gravitate toward software development and defense technologies, unfortunately slowing the advancement of agricultural technologies so needed by the rest of the world. Even so, Israel remains home to more than 200 advanced agricultural research centers.
Fortunately, with so many countries sending delegations to learn from Israel’s agricultural experts, some of that hi-tech brainpower is being directed toward this critical field. So much of the world, from India to Mongolia to the West Coast and Horn of Africa, look to the Jewish state to provide the solutions they so desperately need. They do so because they know Israel can do it, as recent history attests.
Since the 1950s, Israel has succeeded in reclaiming most of its ancient lands from the deserts and swamps, turning them into green areas suitable for cultivation and grazing. At the same time, primarily through the world of Mashav–the Israel Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, the Jewish state has advanced agricultural methods and standards throughout the world.
And what of the neighboring Arab states?
In my home country of Jordan, the agricultural sector suffers from many complex and sometimes fatal problems. Israel and Jordan are officially at peace, and the Jewish state has the ability to green the deserts of Jordan, if only that peace were warmer. Just look at what Israel did with the leased enclaves of Naharayim and Tzofar (which Jordan this year reclaimed rather than renew the leases to Israeli farmers). Both of these enclaves are filled with lush green farmlands, while the surrounding Jordania- controlled areas remain arid and yellow. If we could only truly cooperate, Jordan would reap the benefits of Israeli technology and agricultural knowhow.
The same is, of course, true for the other Arab states. If only they would make peace with Israel, so many of their problems related to hunger and lack of water could be solved, just as Israel is doing for so many countries in Africa and other parts of Asia.
This article was originally published in ‘Israel Today’ magazine, December’s issue.
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