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The Sustainability of Arid Agriculture: Trends and Challenges

By Dr. Alon Tal, Alon Ben-Gal, and Noemi Tel-Zur



In efforts to provide food and fiber to a growing and developing world, agriculture is challenged to increase productivity. Moving water into arid regions and the introduction of irrigated agriculture constitute a key element in any strategy for increased global production. Arid regions offer large undeveloped land and a climate conducive to plant growth and can provide high yielding cultivation on condition that water is available. The sustainability of arid zone agriculture is questionable and faced with combined challenges of development and protection of water resources, managing salinity and creating long-term economically and environmentally sound operations. This review will address strategies to ensure the sustainability of arid agriculture via farm and regional management of water and salinity and the use of appropriate plant and crop sciences with an eye towards the agronomic feasibility of the technologies required to overcome the inherent challenges of agriculture in the drylands.




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"Even though you may think them superfluous in this world, creatures such as flies, bugs and gnats have their allotted task in the scheme of creation, as it says, 'And God saw everything that God had made, and behold, it was very good'."

- Genesis Rabbah 10:7

Did You Know?

Israel and Jordan share responsibility for supplying Jordan with 50 million cubic meters of drinking water annually because of the countries' 2004 peace agreement.

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