Romanian farm co-ops visit Israeli kibbutz movement for irrigation lessons

The 27 co-ops taking the tour hope to double the area of their land under irrigation in the next five years

A group of 38 Romanian farmers from 27 agricultural co-ops have been on a tour of Israeli kibbutz settlements to learn about their irrigation techniques.

Of the total 22,000 hectares run by the co-ops, only 4,000 hectares are currently irrigated, and the farmers want to double this area over the next five years.

The tour, between 26 February and 3 March, included stops at Grnanot agricultural co-operative, which brings together 41 horizontally and vertically integrated kibbutzes.

With Israel leading the world in terms of water reuse – managing 95% – the agricultural co-ops that form part of kibbutz establishment have useful lessons for their counterparts abroad.

The area visited by Romanian farmers boasts over 1,000 fully automated fire hydrants. The water is collected in several basins between 250 m3 and 1.5 million m3, at the base of the mountains. The water is pumped at night from a depth of 70m below sea level to 200m, in five watering steps, and used for irrigation during the day as needed.

The Romanian farmers also visited Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and several local companies specialising in agriculture, irrigation and infrastructure.