Israel Economic Conditions

By | December 22, 2021

At the base of the Israeli economy is agriculture, towards the development of which all the efforts of the government tend, by means of organizations that preside over the distribution of land among agricultural communities, their financing, mechanization, etc. But in a rain-poor, half-desert country such as Israel, agriculture essentially depends on the possibilities of irrigation. Estimates of the country’s water potential vary widely, but can be estimated from 2,100 to 3,000 million m 3nodded. The exploitation of water tables (wells) made it possible to irrigate large areas in the areas of Acri, ‘Atlit, Hadera, Petah-Tiqvah, Rehovoth and Migdal Gad. An impressive plan for the exploitation of the waters of the Jordan is also being implemented and aims to convey the waters to the arid soils of southern Judea and the Negev. As early as 1955, the waters of the Yarkon reached the Negev through an aqueduct. New arable land was also drawn from the drying up of Lake Hule, along the upper Jordan River. Overall, the cultivated areas totaled 383,000 ha in 1958 (including arborescent crops), equal to 19% of the territorial surface: of these 110,000 ha were irrigated. The main crops in the non-irrigated areas are cereals, and in particular wheat (59,000 ha and 800. 000 q in 1958), barley (60,000 ha and 850,000 q) and corn, as well as tobacco, melons and olive trees. In the irrigated areas, on the other hand, vines are mainly cultivated (14,500 ha and 110,000 hl of wine), citrus fruits (3,480,000 q in 1958 between oranges and mandarins), peanuts, cotton, flax, sugar beet (the latter four crops were introduced after 1948 and among them the peanut constitutes an important item of exports, thanks to the high quality). Irrigation has also allowed the creation of artificial lawns and the increase of cattle breeding (120,000 head in 1958), conducted with rational methods. The production of milk and dairy products is constantly increasing. Sheep and goats (respectively 120,000 and 140,000 heads) also retain some importance, while a notable increase has seen poultry farming and beekeeping. Overall, the development of the country’s agricultural resources from 1948 to 1958 was very remarkable and the global value of production almost tripled. In addition to supplying the domestic market, Israeli agriculture is able to export certain products and primarily citrus fruits from the fertile Mediterranean plains. For Israel economics and business, please check businesscarriers.com.

The resources of the subsoil are very scarce. First of all, there is a lack of fuels, both solid and liquid: however oil was discovered in 1955 in Heletz, in the northern Negev, from where an oil pipeline leads the mineral to Ashkelon. The interruption of the Iraqi oil pipeline by the Arab boycott has deprived the large Haifā refinery of most of its supplies. An attempt was made to remedy this by building a new temporary oil pipeline between Eilat (on the Gulf of ‛Aqaba) and‛ Ashdod Yam, on the Mediterranean coast. In July 1960 this first pipeline was completely replaced with a new one, with a diameter of 50 cm, capable of conveying 3 million tonnes per year. The plant, which runs through the Negev touching Beersheba and Ashdod and from there along the coast to Haifā, it should see its capacity doubled within a few years. Since the current domestic oil requirement is about 1.5 million tons per year, the country will be able to export significant quotas of the mineral, which will be entirely refined in Haifā. It is evident that, in addition to remedying the very damaging interruption of Iraqi oil pipelines, the new grandiose work aims to create an alternative to oil trafficking through the Suez Canal.

In the northern Galilee, at Ramim-Massara, an iron ore deposit was recently found, which now feeds a steel plant near Acre, while a cupriferous deposit is cultivated in the Negev, N of Eilat (10,000 tons of copper per year). Bromine, potash and magnesium are extracted from the waters of the Dead Sea and are processed on the western shores (110,000 t of potash in 1958). Deposits of phosphates are exploited in the northern Negev (200,000 tons per year). The energy plants are for now only of a thermal nature and produced 1,320,000 kWh in 1958 (considering only the energy supplied for electro-commercial purposes). The industrial activities mainly concern the cotton mill (Haifā), the wool mill (Haifā and Tel Avīv), the chemical and pharmaceutical industry (Petah-Tiqvah), the tobacco manufacturing (Haifā, Jerusalem, Tel Avīv), the paper (Hadera), the shoe factory (Jerusalem). The steel industry is present, as mentioned, in Acre, the automotive one (assembly of cars and trucks under foreign license) has its headquarters in Haifā, while the tires are supplied by the plants of Petah-Tiqvah and Hadera. The cement factory has its main offices in Haifā, Ramleh and Hartuv, near Jerusalem. Other industries include the production of foodstuffs, electro and radio equipment, diamond cutting, etc. The main problems of the Israeli industry are the dependence on foreign countries for raw materials, the high cost of labor, in the scarcity of capital and the difficult outlet for products outside the limited internal market (the boycott of the finite Arab countries is also very annoying in this field); these problems are obviated by the efforts that the government makes with the formulation of organic plans, with the encouragement of foreign investments, with appropriate customs and tax provisions.

Israel Economic Conditions