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Flowers from Israel

by Brian Nisbet on June 27th

Israel's commercial flower sector is relatively small compared to international standards, but it is just as profitable, as the average flower farm is approximately1.8 hectares.

The agriculture in Israel has developed dramatically during the last 15 years from being focused on standard fruits, vegetables and other crops to a sector highly focused on advanced niche markets such as flowers. Over half of the country is characterised by a semi-arid climate and a large part of Israel is hilly. This means that the use of vast greenhouses meets some of the challenges regarding the climate and water struggle in Israel.

The introduction of greenhouses has allowed farmers to control heat, water, light and humidity, which can be controlled by a computer system, giving control 24 hours a day. The result of commercially producing flowers in a greenhouse is three times more effective than the traditional way. Flower exports account for millions of pounds and nearly 80% of production is exported to Europe. In 2002 Israel produced 1.2 billion flowers with the farmers' expertise, in collaboration with research institutions, continued to produce a high quality and variety of flowers. Roses, ornamental plants, Gypsophila, Helianthus, Solidago, Limonium, lisianthus (Eustoma), Gerbera, Hypericum and Anemone are produced in Israel, and even though the amount of flower growers are decreasing, the use of technology is increasing, keeping production high.

New varieties of flowers have also been developed due to the demand of an ever changing market, from fragrant, colourful and fruit-bearing branches to flowers that are considered environmentally friendly. Israeli flower growers have also joined a project sponsored by the Netherlands to promote environmentally friendly flower production.

Tags: flower, agriculture, growers, israel, gerbera, roses, helianthus

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