Research & Development
Shortly after its founding in 1901, JNF began financing research expeditions to study plant life and soil quality in Israel as part of its efforts to cultivate the land. A critical discovery on one of those expeditions paved the way for the establishment of an agricultural research station in Israel – thus beginning JNF's work in research and development.
Over 100 years later, JNF's commitment to R&D remains as strong as ever. Working with academic and scientific institutions both in Israel and abroad, JNF funds research that turns salt water into sweet fruit, grows tomatoes and peppers without soil, and makes the desert bloom.
JNF sponsors a network of regional agricultural R&D stations in Israel's peripheral regions where leading scientists and technicians work closely with local farmers, research institutes, and universities to increase agricultural sustainability, profitability, and stability. The cutting-edge technologies developed at these stations keep Israeli farmers at the forefront of their field, providing them with innovative, cost-efficient ways to grow produce under arid conditions and allowing them to compete in the global market. Breakthroughs include irrigating crops with recycled and brackish water; developing biological methods of combating harmful pests to minimize chemical use; and optimizing growth regime variables such as light, temperature, and humidity to cut costs and increase crop efficiency.
As a founding member of the International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC), JNF works with the USDA Forest Service, select land grant universities throughout the U.S., and the governments of Egypt and Jordan to find solutions to the problems shared by arid and semi-arid countries around the world and advance strategies for sustainable development of desert regions. JNF is paving the way for improved quality of life not only in Israel, but also for other countries in the world's arid regions.