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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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"When a tree that bears fruit is cut down, its moan goes from one end of the world to the other, yet no sound is heard."

- Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer 34

Did You Know?

Although Israel only has the 97th largest population on earth, the country is among the world's most densely populated. Israel has more people per square mile than India and Japan.

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