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Molcho Center
The northern Negev is Israel's major reserve of land and water resources for future agricultural development. It comprises several local councils: Merchavim, Azata, Eshkol, Bene Shimon and Shaar HaNegev. The Negev council, which represents 112 agricultural settlements, has established Molcho Center to aid in the research and development of subjects important to Negev farmers. It was founded in memory of Chaim Molcho, a member of Kibbutz Urim and one of the major figures in Israeli agriculture - particularly Negev agriculture. The Center is located at Gilat Research Center, an Agricultural Research Organization of the Ministry of Agriculture. This is beneficial both because of Gilat's geographical location in the Negev, and because of its existing research facilities. The program was approved and adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture and The Agricultural Center.


  • Establishment of a computerized center of agricultural information to be freely available to farmers and other interested parties.
  • Establishment of a fellowship to grant scholarships to Negev residents, for advanced studies in agricultural subjects.
  • Establishment of a research unit to study advanced agricultural methods in the light of "Halachah" (Jewish religious law).


Scholarships for Negev Residents

Each year, Molcho Center awards scholarships to students doing research on topics that help advance agriculture in the Negev.

The amount of the scholarship is approximately NIS 5,000.

Seminars and Conferences
Past events include:
  • An international conference, held at the Dead Sea, on Rhizoctonia disease (1994) .
  • An annual open day, at Besor Station, about vegetables and flowers for export .
  • Tours dealing with field crop cultivation.


One of the most important international contributions of Israeli research and development has been the innovation of a drip-irrigation system. Molcho Center plans to set up a museum demonstrating all aspects of this system. The museum, which will span several dunam, will include an exhibit of the history of irrigation in the area, as well as a technical demonstration and model of a drip irrigation system.

The project is under the direction of Gili Molcho.


The committee was established in 1995, in memory of Chaim Molcho


To develop agricultural research in the Negev
To enhance the relationship between Negev farmers and institutes of agricultural research
To support Negev students in agricultural studies
To establish Molcho Center / Gilat Research Center as a focal point of agricultural research in the Negev


Founders Yaacov Tsur
Simcha Assaf
Eliezer Ben-Tzvi
Yitzchak Ezra
Rami Molcho
Avrahm Dagan
Yehuda Dekel
Yitzchak Landesman
Rachamim Yonah
Yisrael Efrat  

Board of Directors

Simcha Assaf
Eliezer Ben-Tzvi
Yifrach Modechai
Yitzchak Ezra
Shmuel Kadmon
Yehuda Dekel
Rami Molcho

Steering Committee - Scholarship Committee Simcha Assaf
Yehuda Dekel
Yitzchak Ezra
Dr. Eli Tomer
Mordechai Har
Gil Molcho
 General Assembly

Simcha Assaf
Yitzchak Ezra - Negev Moshavim
Eliezer Ben Tzvi - The Agricultural Center
Yifrach Mordechai - Director of the Azata Regional Council
Rami Molcho
Yehuda Dekel - Ashkelon
Moshe Paol - Director of the Bene-Shimon Regional Council
Yisrael Efrat - Negev Farms
Mori Avner - Merchavim Regional Council
Shai Hermash - Director of the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council

Ilan Peretz - Negev Farms
Avraham Dvori - Director of the Eshkol Regional Council
Shmuel Rifman - Director of the Ramat Negev Regional Council



  Chaim Molcho was born in Bulgaria in 1927 and emigrated to Israel in 1944 under the auspices of Aliyat HaNoar. He joined the Haganah in 1945, and served in the Israeli army from 1948-1950. In 1946 he joined a core group of settlers who founded eleven Negev settlements, and became a member of Kibbutz Urim. He had four children and twelve grandchildren.


  • Completed high school in Bulgaria
  • Studied at Kibbutz Geva under the auspices of Aliyat HaNoar
  • Completed studies in business management at the Rupin Academy
  • Various enrichment classes in management and organization

Positions held at Kibbutz Urim

  • Laborer in field crops
  • Purchasing manager
  • General Director of the kibbutz farming activities (two terms of office - 10 years)
  • Director of the Michsaf metal factory (6 years)
  • Director of the Noam textile factory (5 years)

Positions held in the Negev region

  • Chairman of the Agricultural Committee in the local council
  • Chairman of the Negev Committee
  • Chairman of the Drought Committee
  • Member of the Negev Committee
  • Member of the Merchavim Regional Council
  • Member of the Eshkol Regional Council

Positions held in the Ministry of Agriculture / Negev and Arava District (1960-1966)

  • Officer of Negev and Arava Development (Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Assistant Director of the Negev District (Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Director of the Rehovot District (Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Director of the Dead Sea Industries
  • Director of Fertilizers and Chemicals

Assistant Director of Production and Development in the Ministry of Agriculture (1974-1982)

  • Chairman of the Board of Mekorot (1974-1977)
  • Chairman of the Vegetable Board
  • Chairman of the Grape and Wine Board
  • Chairman of the Milk Board
  • Chairman of the Fund for Natural Disasters
  • Chairman of the Cotton Board

Director of the Central Farm Department (from 1987)

  • Director of Rupin Academy
  • Director of the Sam Hamburg Fund
  • Director of the Hazera Company
  • Director of Agrexco
  • Director of Tnuva
  • Director of Brit Pikuach
  • Director of the PERI Company

Address to the Ruppin Conference (in Hebrew)
"The Advancement of Agriculture and Settlement"
A speech addressing the need to improve agricultural policies in Israel - delivered by Chaim Molcho on the eve of the 13th Kenesset, May 1992.

Recollections about Chaim Molcho (in Hebrew)

"You will be greatly missed" (excerpts from the eulogy delivered by Shimcha Assaf)
"A designer of the Negev 'Drought Line'" (by Eliezer Ben-Tzvi - Director of the Economic Committee of the Kibbutz Movement / Fund Director of the Center for Agriculture.)
"Initiator of the 'Shafdan'" (by Yoram Tamari - holder of the water portfolio in The Center for Agriculture)
"A comprehensive grasp of research" (by Raphael Agmon - Director of the Department of Foreign Relations and Research, in The Center for Agriculture) .

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