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Gilat Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Agricultural Research-GCASAR
Solutions for sustainable agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas
1. The development of knowledge, technology and products to increase the yield and quality of agricultural produce while protecting the environment.
2. Collaboration in agriculture research in semi-arid and arid environments.
3. Developing solutions for immediate and future crises such as climate change, water quality and availability, desertification and soil degradation.
4. Initiate and develop international cooperation in agricultural research in semi-arid and arid environments.
5. Train the next generation for agricultural research in the arid and semi-arid regions by collaboration with student projects at secondary- and higher education institutes in the Negev.
Contribution to agriculture:
Development of cultivation protocols for a wide variety of crops in the Negev with particular emphasis on: crop growing environment (open field, structures), diseases, pests, soil type and water quality. Provision of agricultural support systems including: plant disease diagnostic laboratory, oil quality laboratory, method for monitoring and predicting soil nitrogen and phosphorus needs, flour quality laboratory, Israeli citrus variety depository.
- Advancement of olive production in Israel
- Improvement of water and fertilizer use efficiency in crops including: olive, pepper, tomato and basil.
- Improved handling of pests and diseases
- Training and education. Dozens of students annually study at the center towards advanced degrees at Israeli and foreign universities.
Long term continuous collaborations with researchers from countries including: The Netherlands, The United States of America, Thailand, China, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, and more. The collaborations include: shared research projects, instruction and guidance of students, delivery of courses and reciprocal visits. A long term relationship including many activities focusing on irrigation and on olive production exists with research groups from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.
The research units and their main investigation areas are:
- Plant Sciences
- crop cultivation: dryland farming, field crops, olive, citrus;
- grazing and open spaces;
- precision agriculture.
- Stress physiology and biochemistry
- Soil and Water
- irrigation and fertilization.
- Plant Protection
- plant pathology;
Gilat is situated in Israel's northern Negev (31°20' N, 34°40' E, elevation 150 m above mean sea level) near Ofakim. This district includes four municipalities -- Bene Shimon, Sha'ar HaNegev, Merchavim, and Azata -- with 60 agricultural settlements that cultivate 800,000 dunam (80,000 ha).
Agricultural facilities and services run by our research staff include a laboratory for the diagnosis of plant disease, nitrogen forecasting, a field services laboratory, and a national bank of genetic material for citrus orchards.
The Migda farm is an extension of the Gilat Regional Center, dedicated to research into agro-sylvo-pastoral systems in arid zones. Gilat and Migda operate an active system of research, experiment and model sites.
The Molcho Center, which operates within the Gilat Regional Center, initiates and supports Negev research activities by granting scholarships to students of agricultural science and by helping to maintain a research library.
On this website, in addition to information about the Center's activities you will find in-depth articles with illustrations and references:
- Online status reports in entomology
- Potato disease compendium