Israel grants NIS 9 million to agriculture tech startups

The Agriculture Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority launched a joint program to develop Israeli technology in the field of agriculture.

Students at the Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (photo credit: Courtesy)
Students at the Arava International Center for Agriculture Training
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Six agricultural tech start-ups have been awarded grants worth up to around NIS 9 million by the Agriculture Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority.

The grants are part of a joint program by the ministry and the innovation authority to assist in the development of tech products for Israeli agriculture and solutions to ensure food security.

The state will fund 60% of the budgets of pilots developed by the six chosen companies, while an additional 10% will be given to start-ups conducting the pilot in national priority areas.

The Agriculture Ministry believes this will provide Israeli farmers with access to the most advanced technologies to continue the regular supply of fresh agricultural produce.

One of the pilots chosen, developed by Agrint Sensing Solutions, is a seismic sensor for precise and early detection of crops infested with caterpillars.

Oded Forer at the Presidential Meeting (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Oded Forer at the Presidential Meeting (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Another company, ALTA, is developing a system to spray plant products using drones. The ALTA drone scans the area and uploads images to its system, which then identifies the areas where spraying is required and dispatches the drone to do so.

BioFishency, Tosaf Compounds, FruitSpec and Salicrop were the other start-ups chosen in the program.

“Food security is our responsibility. The Agriculture Ministry is investing budgets of billions in research and development,” Agriculture Ministry director-general Naama Kaufman-Pess said.

“We are investing in this project while thinking about our future, and through agrotech, we will be able to overcome the challenges we will face tomorrow. This is the only way we can continue to... prepare optimally for times of crisis and, in particular, for climate change.”