MembersFrom an Agricultural to a Hi-Tech Society

Israel’s sudden rebirth 70 years ago saw the early pioneers struggling to scratch a living from a land that just a few decades prior had been almost entirely barren.

By Ryan Jones |
Photo: (KLUGER ZOLTAN / GPO)

Centuries of deforestation and neglect had rendered the land nearly untillable. On top of that, water shortage was as much a problem in those days as it is today. Despite these challenges, as well as a lack of any serious natural resources, these pioneers succeeded by applying hard work and innovation to their agricultural efforts.

The result, as we all know, was the greening of this desert wasteland, and the transformation of swamps into lush farmland. Over the past 70 years, Israel has more than doubled the total area of cultivated land (from 408,000 acres to 1,070,000 acres). In fact, the expansion of agricultural production has even outstripped Israel’s explosive population growth rate.

All of this was made possible thanks to the concentrated communal efforts fostered by the kibbutz movement. Where a loose collection of individual farmers could never have accomplished so much in such a short time, the hundreds of pioneering kibbutzim achieved nothing short of a modern miracle.

Along the way, Israel’s farms not only...

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