Research topics

For over three decades, The R&D center has been operating in the western and northern Negev region. The research activity focuses on the fields of agriculture and environment, with the aim of producing innovative solutions to meet the needs of the region’s farmers in particular, and the challenges of global agriculture in general. The R&D center emphasizes sustainable research and solutions, environment friendly, for humans and animals, while taking a holistic view of the challenges of agriculture and food safety in the present and in the future.

1. New crops and advanced cultivation methods

One of the main activities of the researchers in the R&D center that surrounds Gaza is the development of new agricultural crops adapted to the desert climate of the region, for the promotion of agriculture and farmers in Israel. Among the new crops developed at the center, two can be named that are now grown commercially by the farmers of the region:

1. Ben-Malach Machhil, which is a succulent halophyte and is currently used as a healthy vegetable in the Israeli and global market. The plant is common in nature in Israel, as well as in the coastal area of ​​Portugal, Spain, France, East Africa, the Middle East and the Arab Gulf countries, and is considered a food source rich in minerals, nutritional metabolites and protein.

2. Sarcocrania, which is a halophyte adapted to growing in deserts and poor soils. Based on the research carried out at the Gaza Center, the plant has become an extremely profitable crop, and today over 1,000 tons of sarcocrania are produced every year in the Negev Plateau and the Dead Sea region, and an annual source of income of over NIS 50 million.

2. Development of analytical methods to identify substances

The R&D center operates an advanced analytical laboratory that provides testing and analysis services to external customers and serves the center's team of researchers. The laboratory staff deals with analyzes and the development of test methods, such as pesticide residues and the quantification of secondary metabolites and natural substances in plants.

One of the studies carried out at the institute is the identification of volatile substances in a young mandarin bulb of the "Or" variety and the development of special mixtures for the attraction of citrus pests, such as the woolly moth aphid and the Asian citrus weevil.

Other studies carried out at the center include testing active substances from the cannabinoid family and terpenes in cannabis, monitoring pesticide residues in bee populations and honey, monitoring the effects of sprays of various substances on the integrity of tomatoes, monitoring antibiotics in poultry, and monitoring pesticide levels in arthropods

3. Pests, diseases and weeds

Pests and diseases are one of the main causes of damage to agricultural crops, and the conventional coping methods make use of pesticides that often harm the environment, human health and the ecological fabric. The R&D center operates a dedicated entomological laboratory for testing environmentally friendly pesticides and conducts many studies on the subject, both independently and in cooperation with industrial companies.

In the breeding rooms of the entomology laboratory, we breed various pests for research purposes, such as the tobacco moth aphid, the heliotis, the invading armyworm (which is a new pest in Israel) and the pink lactic acid (known as the "pink caterpillar").

We conduct experiments to test the effect of advanced pesticides in the laboratory, monitor the development of resistance to the preparations in the field, and develop friendly technologies to deal with pests such as attraction traps based on volatile substances and traps based on wavelengths that attract or repel the pest.

4. Agro-ecology

Seventy-seven percent of the world's agricultural land is devoted to pasture. The field supports billions of people worldwide, and affects many ecosystems, especially in light of climate change and increasing human activity.

In the study, with the participation of over 130 researchers from around the world, 98 grazing sites around the world were examined, including Israel. The study examined how grazing affects the functioning of the ecosystem and its contribution to the environment, in areas such as food production, carbon fixation, water absorption and climate change mitigation, and focused on arid climate systems such as the Northern Negev.

The study found that in hot deserts, the precipitation falls mainly in a certain season and not uniformly throughout the year and the amount of vegetation in them is low, intensive grazing harms the benefits provided by the ecosystems. On the other hand, in less warm deserts, with precipitation that is evenly distributed throughout the year and diverse vegetation, intensive grazing actually promotes the benefits provided by the ecosystems. Among other things, grazing increases the competition between plant species and thereby contributes to the preservation of ecological diversity, and also prevents fires.

צרו איתנו קשר

חוזרים אליכם בהקדם

יצירת קשר:

בקרו אותנו בכתובת

מועצה אזורית שדות נגב,
ת.ד 100 נתיבות 8771002

Contact Us

We'll get back to you shortly