Article - Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center Centennial
The Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center was established in 1921, and its main campus is located in Rishon Le Ziyyon. The Volcani Center consists of six institutes and two Research Centers that are located in the north and south of Israel. Over the past century, the Center has accomplished great achievements and brought about developments that have been integrated in the daily agricultural routine of farmers in Israel and around the world.
Volcani Center’s research activities are regarded as a shining diamond in Israel’s technological and a scientific crown of excellence. Volcani Center’s most important resource is its human asset and its large team of top rate researchers, which has blessed Israel with an abundance of capabilities and innovation that are highly esteemed throughout the world.
The research carried out at the Volcani Center combines agriculture with various fields, including health, natural resources, environment, industry, food, and international relations. Studies simultaneously take into account the challenges of agricultural producers, the demands of consumers, alongside issues like water and land resources and environment. They contribute to coping with global challenges, serve the medical field and develop technologies and products that benefit industry. While Volcani Center’s research aims to tackle current challenges in agriculture, its researchers strive to look ahead and develop methods and technologies that will provide knowledge and tools for farmers in Israel and around the world to deal with future challenges.
The “new agricultural revolution” refers to smarter and more precise agriculture, including use of sensors, drones and satellites, robots with learning abilities, genome editing, bioinformatics and analysis of large data systems and artificial intelligence.
Israel is a natural lab for agricultural research. Although small in area, it comprises diverse climatic regions, different types of soil and water, and ecological diversity, making the results of agricultural studies relevant for many countries. This is one of the reasons why the Volcani Center is visited by so many heads of state, researchers and academics, industrialists and entrepreneurs from both developed and developing countries. These visits contribute greatly to Israel’s diplomacy and foreign relations.
Today, more than ever, we understand that there is no substitute for locally grown fresh, high quality healthy produce. In addition, nothing can replace the public benefit reaped from agriculture - employment and livelihood for residents of outlying areas, preservation of open spaces, rural tourism, and upholding values of heritage and culture. The success of agriculture and farmers is largely determined by their ability to cope with challenges affected by climate change as well as by local and international market conditions. The key principles guiding agriculture today continue to be increased food safety and maximal local production, the expansion of seed storage capabilities and reduction of food loss. Although these needs are not new, we now have innovative and groundbreaking scientific cutting-edge tools that can help meet and overcome national and global challenges and bring us forward confidently into the next 100 years.