Ein Zivan's apple orchard manager Alex Kodish..
(photo credit: DROR ARTZI/JINI)
This past year saw a decrease in the number of orchards planted in Israel, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report released Monday.
The data, released ahead of Tu Bishvat on Wednesday, indicated that there was a 24 percent decline in the number of orchards planted in 2014 compared to 2013 and a 45% decline compared to 2012. Only 18,255 orchards were planted this past year, compared to 23,914 in 2013 and 33,023 in 2012.
Of the orchards planted, there was a decline of 85% from the previous year for nectarines and peaches, a 79% decline for pears, and a 14% decline for citrus fruits. In contrast however, there was a 25% increase in grapes, an 8% increase in almond orchards and a 6.5% increase in olives.
The report also indicated that according to data provided by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael- Jewish National Fund in 2013/2014 there were some 649 hectares (1604 acres) of forest planting; 273 hectares of tree planting and 376 hectares of reforestation.
The report indicated that of the dried fruits and nuts that are imported, the majority come from the United States, Vietnam, Thailand and Turkey.
In 2013, the average expenditure on dried fruit in Israel stood at some NIS 44.4 per month, with the top quintile spending twice as much as the lowest quintile on dried fruits and nuts, the report stated. Of these expenditures, a quarter was spent on walnuts followed by dates and almonds.
The report also indicated that during the 2013/14 academic year 992 students pursued their studies in agricultural related fields – 90% at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 5.7% at Tel Aviv University and 4.3% at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
Of these students approximately half were studying toward an undergraduate degree, while the other half pursued masters degrees and PhDs. The findings further indicated that the majority, some 64.5% of students in the field were male, while only 1.5% were Arab.