Arid Lands Development Foundation

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					Arid Lands Development Foundation
            A Resource for the Negev

              Annual Report 2000

           2121 south green rd. suite 210 – cleveland, oh – 44121
   Phone: 216.691.9997 – Fax: 216.691.9998 – Email:
            Please visit ALDF on the Web at…

                                    Arid Lands Development Foundation
                                    A Resource for the Negev

                                                      Annual Report 2000
                                    The Arid Lands Development Foundation (ALDF) promotes initia-
                                    tives which contribute to the agricultural and general economic self-
                                    sufficiency of Israel’s southern region, the Negev, and encourages
                                    replacing philanthropic support with income derived through the
                                    sale of technology and business venture.

Purpose                                                    History
ALDF, a Cleveland based non-profit tax-exempt              In 1982, Richard J. Bogomolny, retired CEO of the
foundation, pursues this mission by supporting             First National Supermarkets, Inc., and Sam Hoenig,
proven scientific, technological, and human innova-        former Executive Director of Jewish National Fund’s
tion. ALDF sponsors projects promoting sustainable         Ohio region, convened an informal group to help the
agriculture developed and successfully applied in          Negev Desert develop into a flourishing, economi-
Israel. Israel and other countries adapting these          cally productive, habitable region. Initially a fund-
techniques can increase their agricultural and             raising group for high tech applied desert agriculture
economic self-sufficiency.                                 projects, Arid Lands Development Foundation was
                                                           incorporated in 1992 as a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit
Goals                                                      and expanded the mission to include facilitating
                                                           economic opportunities through agro business and
                                                           transfer of desert agro-technology initiatives. ALDF
   Support desert agricultural research in Israel
                                                           sponsors projects promoting sustainable agriculture
   Increase productive use of Israel’s Negev
                                                           developed and successfully applied in Israel. Israel
    Desert through environmentally sound agri-
                                                           and other countries adapting these techniques can
    cultural techniques
                                                           increase their agricultural and economic self-
   Promote Negev Desert agro business                     sufficiency. Since its inception, ALDF has channeled
   Encourage replacing non-profit funding with            over five million dollars into projects in the Negev.
    income derived from business ventures, les-
    sening the dependence on philanthropy
                                                           Not-for-Profit and For-Profit Blended
                                                           Arid Lands Development Foundation marshals a
                                                           diverse, dynamic mix of players: not-for-profit
                                                           research stations, a for-profit growers association,
                                                           institutions of higher learning, multinational agro
                                                           businesses, the individual farmer, the individual
                                                           investor, the committed Zionist benefactor - all for
                                                           the task of transforming the Negev Desert, “Israel’s
                                                           Final Frontier”, into the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophe-
                                                           cy. The Foundation functions almost as an invest-
                                                           ment banker, albeit a different kind of investment
                                                           banker focused on a 21st century Zionist agenda,
                                                           yet, unencumbered by partisan politics or political

                                                               supporters, among them David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s
                                                               first prime minister.
The Need for Desert Agricultural                               Israel, historically having to make the most of limited
Innovation in Israel                                           fertile land and water resources, is now the world’s
                                                               leader in desert and arid land agriculture. Israel has
Israel currently produces almost 85% of the food it            a wealth of scientists and engineers --115 per
consumes. This is supplemented by grain, oil, meat,            10,000 population, the highest ratio in the world (the
coffee, cocoa and sugar imports, which are more                U.S. is second, with 85 scientists per 10,000). Israeli
than offset by agricultural exports (Israel exports            desert agricultural research has concentrated on
62% of its Gross Agricultural Product). Within 10              developing new technologies that enable farmers to
years, however, Israel’s food self-sufficiency -- its          use brackish (salty) water for agricultural irrigation,
national food security -- may be threatened:                   something which had never been done before in any
                                                               other place in the world. The Negev Desert has very
   60% of the fresh water currently used for agricul-         little fresh water but an almost unlimited under-
     ture will not be available.                               ground supply of brackish water, now used exten-
   If present trends continue, half of Israel’s current       sively for agriculture. Since brackish water is
     farmland will have been sold or converted for             abundant in most desert areas of the world, the
     industrial, commercial or residential uses.               Israeli techniques have broad international applica-
   Israel’s population, fueled by immigration, is             tions.
     projected to grow to 8.2 from the present 5.8
     million.                                                   ALDF-Supported Institutions in Israel

                                                                  Ramat Negev Desert Agro-Research Center
                                                                  Institute for Applied Research, Ben-Gurion
                                                                    University of the Negev
                                                                  Arava Negev Research and Development Sta-
                                                                  Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University

                                                               Ramat Negev
                                                               Desert Agro-Research Center
                                                               The Ramat Negev Desert Agro-Research Center
                                                               (RNDARC), a regional governmental 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
This increasing population trend creates many                  extension services to, agricultural communities in the
challenges for Israel: Where will the people live?             Ramat Negev region.
Can Israel provide enough food to meet its growing
nutritional needs? And, most importantly, is there              RNDARC has developed agricultural management
enough fresh water to meet Israel’s needs while                practices to improve yield and quality of numerous
sharing sufficient water with its Arab neighbors?              crops in many arid regions. These include tech-
Because of its scarcity, fresh water is becoming the           niques for cost-effective water conservation and
most important resource in the Middle East, making             erosion control, planting, crop rotation, harvesting
its management a war or peace issue.                           and food processing. They have developed new
                                                               seeds and have successfully introduced many new
The Negev Desert, where Abraham, Isaac and                     crops to local conditions. RNDARC scientists have
Jacob tended their flocks, covers 17,500 square                effectively cultivated a variety of traditional fruits and
kilometers, two thirds of the State of Israel, yet is          vegetables, established fish farms and beef cattle
home to only 6% of the population. Having poor soil            herds, raised exotic birds, such as ostriches, and
conditions, a harsh climate, rugged terrain, little            grown fodder crops on this previously unproductive
fresh water, and a small population, the Negev was             land. RNDARC is a world leader in saline or brackish
largely ignored during modern Israel’s first four              water irrigation research. As a result, saline water is
decades. It did, however, have some influential                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, has conducted
desert agricultural research particularly in the area of
brackish water irrigation over the past fifty years, and
has published almost 100 articles. For his pioneering
work in desert agriculture, Mr. DeMalach received
Israel’s highest honor, the Israel Prize, in 1986. Ben-
Gurion University of the Negev recently conferred an
honorary doctorate upon Mr. DeMalach.

Institute for Applied Research,
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, was             Arava Agricultural Research and De-
20 when he arrived in Israel from Plónsk, Russia in
1906. He spent the next four years as an agricultural            velopment Stations
laborer in the Negev. His interest in applied agricul-
tural research continued throughout his life. In 1957,           The Arava Valley, along the eastern part of the
he founded the Negev Institute for Arid Zone                     Negev Desert, has three agricultural research
Research in the Negev’s capital, Be’er Sheva. The                stations; Zoar, Yatir and Arava. These regional
Institute later became the Institute for Applied                 government labs, partly funded by the Israeli Ministry
Research of the Ben-Gurion University. When Ben-                 of Agriculture, The Jewish Agency and Keren
Gurion left the Knesset in 1970, he retired to Sde               Kayemeth Le’Israel developed technologies geared
Boker, a kibbutz in the Negev, where he remained                 to each area’s unique climatic conditions and
until his death three years later. Ben-Gurion was                resources. Their research has focused on new
committed to fulfilling the biblical vision of Israel as a       varieties of peppers, strawberries, dates, flowers,
land flowing with milk and honey. He observed, “If               aquaculture, livestock, fodder crops, flower-seed
we don’t conquer the desert, it will conquer us.”                growing and harvesting, and developing jojoba
                                                                 beans, used in cosmetics and lubricants, a year-
The Institute for Agriculture and Applied Biology has            round cash crop for the region. Over 90% of Israel’s
a permanent staff of 50, including 14 research                   melon exports come from the Arava.
scientists. It has ten well-equipped laboratories
(including tissue culture and molecular genetics                 The Faculty of Agriculture,
laboratories), growth chambers, eight research                   Hebrew University
greenhouses (including a quarantine facility), and a
refrigerated seed storage facility and seed storage
                                                                 The Faculty of Agriculture researchers have devel-
program. The Institute also has two experimental
                                                                 oped several programs addressing the rapidly
                                                                 increasing world population and continuing famine in
                                                                 Africa and parts of Asia. These programs include
 Professor Dov Pasternak, Director of the Institute
                                                                 safeguarding stored food crops, intensification of
for Agriculture and Applied Biology, is widely
                                                                 yields, and comprehensive management and
credited for the development of plant varieties
                                                                 economic techniques to ensure equitable food
adapted to brackish water irrigation, which produce
                                                                 supply distribution. Many faculty and pre- and post-
highly desirable fruits and vegetables. He has also
                                                                 doctoral researchers have worked at RNDARC
developed irrigation systems in arid regions
                                                                 facilities and with its staff.
throughout the world.

                                     ALDF Projects 2000 – 2001

Capital Projects                                              mental “hothouse” allowing them to propogate
                                                              commercial crops using the technology developed at
Additional hothouses and laboratories have provided           RNDARC. Initially, $200,000 were contributed by
the requisite infrastructure, enabling the Ramat              ALDF to erect this state-of-the-art facility. In 1999,
Negev Desert Agro-Research Center (RNDARC) to                 researchers discovered several deficiencies in the
perform advanced research in arid land agriculture            structure that were previously undetected in the
over an extended period of time. In the past two              experimental model. ALDF provided additional
years, ALDF has funded the building of a commer-              funding to modify the solar greenhouse, improving
cial-sized solar greenhouse at RNDARC, based on               the quality and efficiency of the structure. The Levy-
an experimental model developed at Ben-Gurion                 Markus Foundation of Naples, Florida, and Beverly
University. The solar greenhouse, the size of a               Hills, California contributed funds for this green-
football field, provides researchers with an experi-          house.

ALDF funded additional capital projects over the past two years, including the following:
       Construction of two state-of-the-art commercial size (2000 square meters) greenhouses, for new
        experimentation, such as bee pollination and underground irrigation

       Farm equipment and computer hardware and software for centralized control of greenhouses and
        farming equipment

Research and Development Projects                             by farmers throughout the Negev. ALDF provided
                                                              grants to develop other varieties of Desert Sweet
It is critical for RNDARC to expand small-scale               tomatoes to enable year-round production potential,
experiments to the order of magnitude necessary to            as well as for two exciting new research areas:
foster commercially viable desert-grown commodi-
ties. Thus research involves the painstaking compar-          Hothouse Fruits - With 1999 ALDF funding,
ison of environmental conditions, salinity, soil media,       RNDARC initiated trials with melons and strawber-
temperature, and crop variety. In the past, it was            ries to examine their hothouse year-round growing
ALDF-funded research that enabled brackish and                potential, an advantage over European and North
saline water irrigation to evolve from the experimen-         American markets.
tal to the commercial stage, techniques now utilized

Wine Grape Project – In 1997 RNDARC
launched a long-term experiment aimed at the
production of high quality grapes of the Sauvignon
Cabernet and the Sauvignon Blanc varieties. The
work will include analysis of the growth and devel-
opment of grapes under different salinity regimes,
and the effect of salinity on the taste and aroma of
the fruit for wine production.

                                                            Hopi/Israel/US Agricultural Initiative
                                                            In May 1998, ALDF followed through on its commit-
                                                            ment to the Hopi Indian Nation located in northern
                                                            Arizona to generate a Feasibility and Market
                                                            Analysis Study. The previous year, the first small-
                                                            scale demonstration farm began operations near
                                                            Hotevilla, Arizona. The 4.8-acre farm produced
                                                            1,796 lbs. of melons (revigal, honeydew, casaba),
                                                            2,048 lbs. of squash (yellow, zucchini), 220 lbs. Of
                                                            tomatoes (cherry, table), and 1,010 lbs. of corn
                                                            (sweet, blue, white). The project encountered a
                                                            number of first-year obstacles, including water
                                                            supply delays, equipment problems, poor native
                                                            seed stock, uneven farmer motivation, and early
Sand Dunes Project                                          snowfall and freezes in October. Nevertheless, the
                                                            new desert agricultural techniques were largely
Twenty-five years ago, when RNDARC was con-                 assimilated and implemented by the farmers.
ceived, it was necessary to locate the actual experi-
mental facility close to water sources and existing         The Hopi/Israel/US Agricultural initiative is an ALDF-
roads. Large quantities of sand were trucked from           inspired project that garnered the active leadership
the dunes area lying two kilometers north of the            support of this westernmost tribe of Pueblo Indians
Center’s location. With the huge success that the           to improve their agricultural methods based on
Center has experienced and the need to expand the           desert farming techniques developed at RNDARC.
research activity and area, work began in 1998 to           In November 1998, ALDF met in Phoenix, with Hopi
bring the expanding research facility closer to the         leadership, representatives of The University of
dunes, as opposed to bringing the dunes closer to           Arizona Faculty of Agriculture and representatives of
the facility.                                               Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The University
                                                            of Arizona, in cooperation with the Institute for
ALDF provided a grant for infrastructure preparation,       Applied Research at Ben-Gurion University, pledged
including an access road from the central facility,         their support to the Hopi Tribal leadership to help
electric lines, and the building of two, one-acre           facilitate the continuation of the project and is
greenhouses, completely outfitted with irrigation and       drafting plans for future activities. Funding proposals
fertilization equipment, a drip irrigation computer,        have been submitted to several Arizona-based
sensors, and other vital equipment. By providing the        foundations, as well as to the USDA.
funding, RNDARC can now expand agricultural
experiments. Funding for this project was provided
by Mrs. Ruth Viny of Cleveland, Ohio in memory of           Promoting Arid Land Agribusiness
Myron (Mike) Viny.
                                                            This area represents perhaps ALDF’s most signifi-
                                                            cant achievement in the past two years. One of
                                                            ALDF’s guiding principles is to encourage Negev
                                                            economic self-sufficiency by replacing non-profit
                                                            funding with income derived through business

    ALDF, through its for-profit affiliate, Desert Sweet          Grow Tech Finance and Development, Ltd., an
    Technologies, Inc., successfully solicited the interest       Israeli holding company, seeks to commercialize
    of several major U.S. vegetable and fruit growers             Israeli Agro business technologies. It has formed
    and linked U.S. agribusiness with Negev research              Grow Tech Research Development Initiatives, Ltd,
    facilities. ALDF initiated dialogue with several major        (Grow Tech RDI), to identify new technology-based
    agribusiness entities, including Agro Power Devel-            business opportunities for Grow Tech companies,
    opment Inc., the largest grower of hothouse toma-             provide financial and business management assis-
    toes in the U.S., and Chiquita Brands International.          tance, and coordinate governmental relationships.
    A group of business leaders representing these                ALDF and Grow Tech RDI share interests in the
    companies visited the Ramat Negev facilities. ALDF            Negev Desert. RNDARC can offer Grow Tech
    organized this mission and funded on-site seminars            greater access to Israeli researchers, field-testing,
    and visits to Negev commercial sites.                         interested agro business and non-profit partners.
                                                                  ALDF is encouraging its Negev grantees, in turn, to
                                                                  look to Grow Tech RDI as a marketing arm for their

                                                PROJECTS – 2001

The Ramat Negev Agro-Research
and Business Center
To take full advantage of the emerging synergy between
growers, researchers, and multinational agribusiness, a
full scale Agro-Business Center is mandatory. Until now,
RNDARC has utilized inadequate and deteriorating
facilities. Although affiliation with The Hebrew University
Faculty of Agriculture and Ben-Gurion University has
long provided RNDARC access to their facilities, these
institutions are straining under the increasing demands
for services. New, modular laboratories, as well as
facilities to accommodate agro business representatives
will help RNDARC advance into the next century,
expand the scope of its research, host greater numbers
of collaborators and students from around the world, and
help generate new business opportunities. This facility
will be the first of its kind in Israel.

A grant was received from the David and Inez Myers
Foundation for the design and planning of the modern
facility. Architectural drawings have been executed and
a capital campaign launched to raise the $2.5 million for
the new center is underway. This project is the top
priority for ALDF and Ramat Negev and will be the focus
of the Foundation’s fund-raising activities throughout
2000 and 2001.

Officers and Board of Directors
Richard J. Bogomolny, President, Cleveland, Ohio
Morton Cohen, Cleveland, Ohio
Dr. Y0el DeMalach, Ramat Negev, Israel
David Goldberg, Cleveland, Ohio
Harley I. Gross, Cleveland, Ohio
S. Lee Kohrman, Cleveland, Ohio
Patricia M. Kozerefski, Cleveland, Ohio
Mark A. Levy, Los Angeles, CA
Shirley H. Levy, Naples, FL
Jack N. Mandel, Cleveland, Ohio
Dr. Arthur J. Naperstak, Cleveland, Ohio
Norton W. Rose, Cleveland, Ohio
Professor Colette Serruya, Tivon, Israel
Star Sacks, Scottsdale, AZ
Seymour Sacks, Scottsdale, AZ
Joseph M. Shafran, Cleveland, Ohio
Robert L. Stein, Cleveland, Ohio
Ruth K. Viny, Cleveland, Ohio

Sam Hoenig, Executive Director, Cleveland, Ohio