South African food security delegation visits an experimental hothouse in the Negev.
(photo credit: DENNIS ZINN/KKL-JNF)
A South African delegation representing JNF South Africa, Food & Trees for Africa, the Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre and the South Africa-Israel Forum came to Israel to learn about the country’s innovative agricultural methods in semi-arid climates.
Just a couple of hours after landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday, November 4, 2018, after their long flight from Johannesburg, the 5 member delegation arrived at the Vulcani Agricultural Research Center in Rishon Leziyon for the first round of several briefings that were scheduled during their 4-day visit. Participating in the delegation were: Isla Feldman, National Chairman of JNF South Africa and founder of Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA) and founder of The Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre (WSEC); Chris Wild, Director of FTFA; Rogan Field, Production and infrastructure specialist at FTFA; Riaan Visser, Head of Fundraising for WSEC; and Benji Shulman, Executive Director of the South Africa-Israel Forum. Their Israeli guides were Orna Toeg, Director of KKL-JNF's South Africa and UK Desks and KKL-JNF’s Elisha Mizrahi.
The first lecture of the day was delivered by Professor Itamar Glazer, Deputy Director for Research and Development at the Vulcani Center, who welcomed the group and presented an overview of the organization’s activities. He told them that the Vulcani Center was established in 1921 to assist the early pioneers in Israel to establish agriculture.
“We are not a university,” Glazer emphasized. “The Vulcani Institute is a governmental agricultural research organization that also deals with many other issues related to agriculture, such as climate change and sustainability. We have almost 200 scientists and 300 students from the country’s leading universities, who come here to carry out research for advanced degrees.”
Glazer also told them that the Vulcani Center has strong relations with the agricultural industry in South Africa.
“This was a natural match because of our similar but complimentary climates. It is quick and easy to adapt our research in South Africa because the climate is similar, and because the seasons are complimentary there is no competition between our farmers.”
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