Israel’s success in agribusiness is an example of efficiency and investment in research
Claudio Medaglia, from Não-Me-Toque (RS)
In a region with an adverse climate and high water scarcity, 95% of the food consumed is produced. There, the annual average of milk production per cow reaches 11,000 liters, the highest in the world. We are talking about Israel, in the Middle East, with a territory of 22,000 square kilometers – equivalent to the state of Sergipe -, to accommodate its 9.3 million inhabitants, who have made research and technology the engine of development. The country was the central theme this Tuesday (7), at the Agrodigital Arena, at the 23rd Epodireto Cotrijal, in Não-Me-Toque.
In the panel “Israel’s Innovative Agro Ecosystem”, the case of resilience and overcoming of this country was presented, forged in the midst of successive wars and which, although founded only in 1948, has a people with a long history of facing difficulties.
Israel is among the 15 nations with the lowest supply of water in the world, with 500 cubic meters per capita per year, 20 times less than in Brazil. But it is a global leader in water management. After all, 85% of the water used is recycled, and 75% of it is destined for agriculture.
“Necessity made the local people creative. Without food, without water and without energy, harassed by neighbors who see their territory as a strategic point on the globe, the path was to invest in research and technologies. It’s just that, with so many challenges, every mistake can be fatal. So, technology, information and assertiveness are in the Israeli DNA”, explained João Paulo Kriigner Zampieri, from ZMP Consultoria, one of the morning panelists.
Israel is a world leader in research and development. It is no coincidence that investment in startups is so strong and diversified. Of the 7,200 companies, 675 are linked to agribusiness, which accounts for only 2.5% of the national GDP.
“There, 5.4% of GDP is invested in research, while in Brazil, which has 25% of its Gross Domestic Product based on the agro sector, the index is only 1.3%. The local government encourages the development of startups, from the most varied segments, as long as the projects are approved in a screening process with identification of the potential for success. If it works, the government is a partner. If it goes wrong, you owe nothing. But the margin of success is high”, pointed out Zampieri.
Caio Naday Castelo Branco, representative of the Ministry of Economy and Industry of Israel, explained that although agricultural activity has little weight in the country’s finances, it is considered a matter of national security. And that, with this theme managed, there is room to invest more and more in improvement.
It was there, for example, that drip irrigation was born, a technology developed decades ago and whose applicability is still being discussed in Brazil, despite its recognized efficiency. The system is fundamental not only in crisis situations, such as the one faced by Rio Grande do Sul and its already familiar droughts. It guarantees efficiency and economy. Dripping provides the plant with water in a constant flow and volume, adequate to the need. No more, no less.
But also predictive analysis software, anticipating the emergence of diseases, soil conditions, nutrient absorption and crop forecasting make all the difference. Drones from the air and from the ground also give an exact picture of the crops, adjusting the application of inputs and generating a wealth of information that allows the creation of a large database, generating increasingly accurate analyzes and decisions.
There, intelligent greenhouses, with ventilation systems, heating structures and automated systems, share the role of success with a poultry or dairy activity, for example, with great results. Genetic improvement of cattle and tambos where feeding and temperature controls are computerized, disease monitoring and cow pregnancy are also precisely controlled.
“These are examples of technologies that were developed for the peculiarities of Israel. Many are applicable in different parts of the world, including Brazil. And there are possibilities for all budgets and activity profiles. Just explore and evaluate”, concluded Castelo Branco.
This Wednesday, the public’s attention at Expodireto’s Agrodigital Arena will be focused on Silicon Valley, with panels throughout the day. Topics such as technology in agriculture, how livestock will eradicate hunger and improve climate neutrality and the importance of industry 5.0 for agribusiness, among other subjects, will be on the agenda. The program starts at 8:30 am, with the PMI Panel – Project Management in Agribusiness.