The “Hottest” Innovations in the Agrotech Industry as Presented at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Joint Event with the Export Institute, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel: “Israel is a world leader in developing cutting-edge agricultural technologies thanks both to the close, exceptional cooperation with academia, industry and the farmers themselves, and to its grasp of multiple, diverse disciplines. I am pleased to be here at the Agrisrael Conference; I consider the strengthening of our ties with the rest of the world to be of great importance to stimulating Israel’s economy and for laying better groundwork for sustainable production of high-quality, healthy foods”.
Ever since Israel was established, the amount of water it had to work with was restricted, which has lead to a continual search for smart, efficient agricultural solutions. Over the years, Israel has become a world leader in developing cutting-edge agricultural technologies thanks both to the close, exceptional cooperation with academia, industry and the farmers themselves, and to its strengths in multiple, diverse disciplines. The disciplines of Big Data, IT, IoT, AI, robotics, drones, satellites, sensors, algorithms and also smartphones. All these have been harnessed as powerful tools helping farmers exercise precision management of their plots.
However as the world’s population grows, so does the demand for food production. It is the fourth agricultural revolution that enables us to face this challenge while using less resources, safeguarding the environment, growing quality produce, increasing yields and so much more.
In this context, advanced precision technologies drive the fourth agricultural revolution. They present innovative solutions offered by the agricultural industry in Israel. These are being showcased in a special event - Agrisrael 4.0, which was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Export Institute, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event is ongoing these days. Today the technologies were presented within an exhibition at the Barkan Wineries. The exhibition was themed around agricultural technology. In a first-of-its-kind event, it featured live demonstrations of the developments. Pre-arranged networking meetings are held as part of the event, between foreign guests and Israeli companies. Organized tours have been arranged as well as opportunities to meet colleagues, to share and exchange information, and to create new collaborations.
Among the numerous projects one can find Metomotion, which is seeking solutions for the labor-intensive work inside the greenhouses and for premature harvesting of agricultural produce. The company has created a robot named GROW (Greenhouse Robotic Worker), which scans all of the agricultural produce in the greenhouse using an advanced 3D vision system and algorithms which select only the produce ripe for picking. The robot can carry out a range of greenhouse tasks including harvesting, pruning, monitoring, pollination, and more. Initially the robot has been adapted for tomato picking but later on it will be diversified to cover all the greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables. The robot has artificial intelligence, which remembers its GPS location within a greenhouse of premature tomatoes and it knows how to return to them at the right time for picking.As part of the event activities, it will be possible to observe the robot in action.
Another development to be presented at the conference is a technological tool that provides beekeepers with real-time information on what is happening in his apiary enabling timely identification of diseases, monitoring the state of the queen bee and more. This innovation is intended to cope with the high bee mortality rates and with problems in the pollination process, which is one of the most critical links in the chain of life since one third of all the food we eat depends on bee pollination. BeeHero offers a solution for the fact that the beekeeper has no way of keeping continual track of what is happening inside the hive. Their smart system, which is installed inside the hive, collects data and environmental information reflecting and predicting various situations inside the hives. This enables the beekeeper to track the state of the bees in real time.
Another development is a precision spraying system from Fieldin which has developed a sprayer which applies the spray to the plants only when there is a real need for it. Awareness of healthy lifestyles gains traction year by year. People make sure they eat as much natural, pesticide-free food as possible. The spraying system the company has developed uses a camera, which examines and scans the state of the plant and examines whether there are pests or diseases requiring spraying. The spray is applied locally and precisely, reducing use of pesticides to the minimum necessary to keep the field healthy and secure the agricultural produce.
All these technologies and other developments and demonstrations from 20 start-ups will be showcased in the event within the confines of the vineyard.