ISRAEL - 100 Years of Agricultural Innovation

Arno Froese

If the Israeli cow is the world champion milk producer, if Israel has superior wheat for pasta and bread, if tomatoes grow year-round and citrus fruits are peelable and pit-free—we can thank Yitzhak Elazari Wilkanski.

This agricultural scientist, who immigrated to Ottoman Palestine in 1908 from Lithuania and changed his last name to Volcani, established the Agricultural Experiment Station at Ben Shemen in 1921. This was the forerunner of the Volcani Center Agricultural Research Organization, the research arm of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture since 1952.

Today, the Volcani Center is the largest institution devoted to agricultural research and development in Israel, advancing agriculture in Israel and abroad through innovation and problem-solving.

Headquartered in Rishon LeZion with experimental research stations north and south, the Volcani Center is responsible for many of Israel’s groundbreaking developments in plant and animal breeding, protected agriculture, irrigation, arid-land agriculture, postharvest handling, crop protection and farm mechanization.

The Volcani Center encompasses six institutes: Animal Sciences, Plant Protection, Soil, Water & Environmental Sciences, Plant Sciences, Agricultural Engineering, and Postharvest & Food Sciences.

Approximately 200 PhDs employed in these institutes share their expertise and innovations with agronomists across the globe, and work with hundreds of graduate students from Israel and abroad.

Volcani convinced Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, to start an institute in Rehovot to commercialize research from the agricultural station. In 1949, this became the world-renowned Weizmann Institute of Science., 6 September 2022

Arno's Commentary

One must keep in mind that much of the land of Israel is desert. Apparently, this is no problem for Israelis, beginning with Yitzhak Volcani’s arrival in the Promised Land in 1908.

Almost 2,600 years ago, it was the prophet Jeremiah who instructed the Jews who returned from Babylonian captivity: “Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them” (Jeremiah 29:5).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety