ISRAEL - New Crop of Israeli Farmers

Arno Froese

Menachem Friedman, 67, is a successful peach and nectarine grower in the Golan Heights. He followed in the footsteps of his parents, Transylvanian farmers who came to Israel after surviving the Holocaust.

Four of Friedman’s seven children planted their own roots on the family farm: Sharya, 42; Israel, 40; Ido, 35; and Nachshon, 29.

“We chose agriculture out of a conscious choice that this is where we want to be,” Nachshon Friedman tells ISRAEL21c. “Each of us brings with us innovation and a young spirit into a relatively old-fashioned world that has a lot of room for advancement.”

These are not the farmers of yesteryear. Sharya is finishing his doctorate in archeology, Israel and Ido are certified engineers and Nachshon has a master’s degree in economics and business administration.

It became obvious that the average Israeli farmer is over 60 and the next generation isn’t going into the family business. At the same time, there are some young, business-savvy farmers like Nachshon Friedman with sustainable and fresh ideas needing investment.

“When we started, everyone told us it would be good if we got 50 interested companies, but more than 250 applied and we had to stop taking applications after two and a half weeks,” says Yoel Zilberman, HaShomer HaChadash CEO and founder. “It just shows you how much this area was neglected and needed a push to fulfil its potential.”

In addition to young farmers themselves, Eretz-Noshevet also will support groundbreaking startups from more established agricultural entrepreneurs that will help the next generation of farmers.

Lior Hessel founded AlgaeNite in 2018 to provide a sustainable alternative to today’s chemical and organic fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers leave a large carbon footprint and come from fossil fuels, while organic fertilizers are expensive and often contain pharmaceutical and hormone residues that end up in food.

“We decided to find a third way because we have to supply high-quality food at reasonable prices and it has to be sustainable,” says Hessel.

AlgaeNite’s novel solution, developed by Ben-Gurion University Prof. Sammy Boussiba, turns nitrogen from the air into fertilizer with the help of cyanobacteria, which are half bacteria, half green-blue algae.

AlgaeNite is building its first production facility in southern Israel and will do so in the United States and Europe next year.

“We are focused on organic fertilizer, but they also can be used for plant-based fish or meat protein alternatives, animal feed, cosmetics and bioplastics. This could be the beginning of a new era in agriculture — and it will start in Israel.”

-www.israel21c.org, 1 December 2022

Arno's Commentary

The average reader does not fully comprehend what it means to “turn nitrogen in the air into fertilizer with the help of cyanobacteria, which are half bacteria, half green-blue algae.” Quite obviously, however, this group of scientists knows very well how it works, what it will do, and what the future holds—at least when it comes to growing food. We too believe “it will start in Israel.”

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.

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