Israeli agriculture is divided into the vegetable and fruit sector (60%) and animal sector (40%). The volume of cultivated land is about 4.1 million dunams (410,000 hectares). Israel supplies most of its own fresh produce (local production), vegetable and animal products, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, poultry, milk and more.
In the next 40 years, we must produce more food than the total amount consumed from the first person to this very day (!!).
In 1955, one farmer in Israel produced food for 15 residents. Today, one farmer in Israel produces food for more than 100 residents.
In 1950, average world food production per dunam fed 1.7 people, in 2000, 4.2 people and in 2050 it must feed 7 people.
60% of the water used for agriculture in Israel is water that is not suitable for domestic consumption.
The value of agricultural production totaled NIS 30 billion in 2016. In 2015, total exports amounted to NIS 4.6 billion, which constituted about 15% of the overall value of agricultural production.
The rate of growth in agricultural production for 2005-2015 is about 19%, despite difficult weather conditions, an ongoing shortage of water and the fact that 2/3 of the territory of the State of Israel is desert.
The leading agricultural sectors with the highest production value are fruit and vegetable crops, and poultry and beef, that include poultry and beef for meat, milk and eggs. The share of these industries in the value of agricultural production in 2015 totaled: fruit - 24%, vegetables, potatoes and marrow - 20%, poultry - 19%, beef - 15%, ornamentals, seeds and afforestation - 6%, field crops - 8% and miscellaneous - 6%.
More than 15% of overall production is designated for export markets. In 2015, the value of exports of fresh agricultural produce amounted to NIS 4.4 billion, with the total agricultural exports of fresh produce accounting for less than 2% of the total exports of the State of Israel.
Israel exports mainly vegetable products, such as: dates, peppers, avocados, carrots, flowers, herbs and more.
Local agricultural produce is exported to markets in Europe, Russia, America and the Far East.
72,000 workers are employed directly in agriculture (about 21,000 of them are foreign workers from Thailand), and another 170,000 Israeli workers are employed in the production of agricultural inputs and logistics that support agricultural activity.
In 2015, approximately 1.15 billion cubic meters of water were used for agriculture, 458 million cubic meters of which were freshwater and about 700 million cubic meters of marginal water (60%). Marginal water is non-potable water - treated wastewater, brackish water and so on.
Agricultural output accounts for less than 1.5% of Israel’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
As of today, rural settlements are spread throughout the State of Israel, in all their forms: kibbutz, workers’ moshav, cooperative moshav, community settlement or other rural-village settlement. About 70% of the rural communities are located in peripheral regions. The rural settlement has fostered values and heritage, history, landscape and values connecting people to their land. Agriculture contributes to the preservation of open spaces, and cultivation of the environment, nature and landscape.
Currently, there are 919 agricultural settlements in Israel, comprised of 443 moshavim that constitute 48% of the total agricultural settlement, and 266 kibbutzim, which constitute 29% of the agricultural communities. 295,000 residents live in moshavim, compared with 150,000 residents living in kibbutzim.