The Ramat Negev
The Ramat Negev Desert AgroResearch Center (RNDARC), a regional government facility, was built at the junction of two different desert terrain types to study multiple crop/ecosystem interactions. The center works cooperatively with, and provides extension services to, agricultural communities in the Ramat Negev region. In 2008, the Negev Foundation, along with Ramat Negev officials, inaugurated the new RNDARC with expanded research facilities and a new agrobusiness center.
RNDARC has developed agricultural management practices to improve the yield and quality of numerous crops in many arid regions. These include techniques for cost-effective water conservation and erosion control, planting, crop rotation, harvesting and food processing. They have developed new seeds and have successfully introduced many new crops to local conditions.
RNDARC scientists have effectively cultivated a variety of traditional fruits and vegetables, established fish farms and beef cattle herds, raised exotic birds, and grown fodder crops on this previously unproductive land. RNDARC is a world leader in saline or brackish water irrigation research. As a result, saline water is now being used throughout the Negev Desert by the application of environmentally sound principles that have prevented the deleterious effects of salinity.
Yoel DeMalach, RNDARC’s founder, who passed away in 2006, conducted desert agricultural research particularly in the area of brackish water irrigation for over 50 years, and published almost 100 scientific articles. In 1986, DeMalach received Israel’s highest honor, the Israel Prize, for his pioneering work in desert agriculture. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev also conferred an honorary doctorate upon DeMalach. Despite the passing of RNDARC’s creator, the center’s work continues today as influential and important as ever. back to top
The Ramat Negev
In a long-term effort to conquer the challenges of the desert, The Negev Foundation secured funding for permanent research facilities and a unique, regional business center. The foundation reached a great milestone when it inaugurated a $2.5 million combined research and business center, on time and on budget, on December 26, 2007. The Ramat Negev Agro-Research and George V. and Janet Voinovich Business Center is named for the U.S. senator and his wife as a tribute to their work and lasting friendship with Israel. The construction of the center would not have been possible without the help of many generous benefactors to which The Negev Foundation is grateful.
The 13,000 square-foot complex is unlike any other in Israel. The three main goals of the new center are to:
- Continue advancing world leading applied research and the development of desert agrotechnology through the center’s state of the art science facilities
- Develop the region’s economic sustainability through the center’s unique business incubator designed to foster the growth of Negev based agrobusinesses
- Promote tourism to the region through the center’s tourism department featuring The Negev Experience
The center represents the altruistic labor of bringing David Ben-Gurion’s vision for Israel to life. As Israel’s first Prime Minister said, “It is in the Negev that the creativity and pioneer vigor of Israel shall be tested.” His vision inspired the establishment of a ground-breaking business incubator at the center. Developed to promote the center’s agriculture products and innovative technologies, it embodies Israel’s creativity and pioneering vigor.
For their roles in establishing this center, The Negev Foundation recognizes the work of its board members: specifically Joe Shafran who oversaw the physical construction of the new center, Richard Bogomolny, Jack Mandel, Albert Ratner, S. Lee Kohrman, and Robert (Bobby) Goldberg.back to top