Preparing Land For Agriculture
Inspired by Ben-Gurion's dream to make the desert bloom, KKL-JNF works tirelessly to build prosperous communities in the Negev. The KKL-JNF vision is that the sands reclaimed from desolation will carry a message of development and peace for the generations to come.
To this end, KKL-JNF has reclaimed hundreds of acres of desert in the Negev and the Arava for farming. Preparing the land involves levelling, tilling, plowing and when relevant, restoring ancient terraces. In a region with very little water and a high level of salinity, this is no easy task. Nevertheless, KKL-JNF's unique methods have already seen success.
The land reclaimed by KKL-JNF for agriculture in the Negev and Arava is being used for orchards, farms, greenhouses and fields.
KKL-JNF builds roads in border areas, and other areas where security is a daily problem, allowing residents, tourists and soldiers to move around the area safely and in freedom. Thanks to these roads, military activity is enhanced, farmers can continue working their fields even in times of tension, children can reach schools without worrying about a stray missile, and the local population can move about with greater freedom. These roads usually become very popular with tourists visiting these areas in quieter times.
KKL-JNF repaired and improved agricultural security roads in the Western Negev following the Operation Cast Lead in 2008, in response to the distress of the communities in the region suffering ongoing artillery barrages and missiles. Work was carried out in a number of communities in the Eshkol, Hof Ashkelon, Sedot Negev and Sha'ar HaNegev regional councils. KKL-JNF has also prepared security roads in Northern communities close to the Lebanese border.
Building roads involves engaging in earthworks, such as compacting roadbeds, drainage and smoothing using fill materials, and asphalt paving.
Agricultural and bypass security roads are joint projects with local government agencies and the ministries of Agriculture and Defense.
The people living in communities bordering on Gaza are constanty exposed to Palestinian artillery and missile attacks, when driving along local roads, to and from their fields, and even within the boundaries of their own communities. In order to remedy the situation, KKL-JNF and the IDF have decided on a policy of planting trees that will serve a triple benefit to residents of the south: these rows of trees will not only block the vision of terrorist firing into Israel, but will also provide pleasant scenery and shade.
The first part of the project, planting to protect communities in the region, has already been completed, with the help of Friends of KKL-JNF worldwide, including Australia, Canada, South Africa and Italy. Gaza border communities protected by the trees include Kerem Shalom, Holit, En HaShelosha, Nirim, Nir Oz, Kissufim, Nahal Oz, Kfar Aza, Mefalsim and Sderot.
The second stage focuses on protecting the travel routes used by residents of the area. Development elements include land reclamation, drainage, plantings (a row of shrubs backed by a row of tall trees) and irrigation. The shrubs will screen the lower areas and the tree canopies, the higher ones.
KKL-JNF is also working with the Israel Honey Council to plant trees that serve as pasture to bees, enhancing honey production in the region.
Read more about life saving trees.
Video: Life Saving Trees
Length: 2:23 min