Eretz Noshevet to invest $2m. for farmers, agro-tech, land development

Currently in the pilot phase, the initiatives chosen by the investment committee stand to gain major benefit from the fund’s money and guidance.

German delegation explores Israeli technological advances in agriculture (photo credit: Courtesy)
German delegation explores Israeli technological advances in agriculture
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Eretz Noshevet, a new investment company dedicated to promoting the future of innovative agriculture in Israel, was launched earlier this month by its parent organization, HaShomer HaChadash.

Last week, the initiatives chosen by the investment committee began their pilot phase, in which they will receive personal and professional support, as well as an investment of up to half a million shekels. In phase two, the selected investments will receive up to about a million and a half shekels.

Eretz Noshevet aims to strengthen the Israeli agricultural industry, to expand Israel’s agricultural areas and to motivate young men and women to connect with the land and see agriculture’s real and sustainable economic potential.

“The [foundation] of Israeli heritage and establishing the country was agriculture; but much of the younger generations’ passion [for it] was lost in the midst of hi-tech and cyber,” said Yoel Zilberman, CEO and founder of Hashomer Hachadash.

 Yoel Zilberman, CEO and founder of Hashomer Hachadash (credit: SHARIA DIAMONT) Yoel Zilberman, CEO and founder of Hashomer Hachadash (credit: SHARIA DIAMONT)

What does Eretz Noshevet want to do?

By inspiring the younger generation to enter the agriculture field, Eretz Noshevet hopes to bring more innovative thinkers to the sector. At the same time, it also hopes to bring any thinkers at all to the sector.

“For the last 20 years there’s been a very bad lack of manpower, which is something that all the Western world is suffering from – it’s not specific to Israel. 30% of what the farmers are growing is getting wasted because there’s a lack of manpower to harvest it,” Zilberman explained.

“For the last 20 years, there’s been a very bad lack of manpower, which is something that all the Western world is suffering from. It's not specific to Israel. 30% of what the farmers are growing is getting wasted because there's a lack of manpower to harvest it.”

Yoel Zilberman

Founded in 2007, HaShomer HaChadash works to ensure a stronger Jewish presence in the Negev and the Galilee, promote a sense of mutual responsibility among the Jewish people and uphold the Zionist ideals on which the State of Israel was founded.

Through its pre-army program, volunteer guardsmen live on agricultural lands and patrol it from observation posts, preventing fires, theft, physical violence and herd slaughter.

Its other programs include an agricultural volunteerism program for visitors from around the world, and a post-army program placing young Israelis with jobs in the agricultural sector. Today, HaShomer HaChadash engages over 38,500 volunteers working throughout 190,000 acres of land at 70 locations in the Negev and Galilee.

“What’s really beautiful about this is that it’s all a grassroots organization,” said Zilberman. “We listen and open our hearts to the needs of the field, and then we aim to create solutions. And part of what we’re doing is trying to create solutions that stand on their own, independently — that’s what this new fund is.”