• Issue: October 1971
  • Designer: M. & G. Shamir
  • Plate no.: 329
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

The Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research, which bears the name of its founder and director for 30 years, the late Professor Yitzhak Elazari Volcani, in October 1971 celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and that of organized agricultural research in this country.

The Institute was the first research institution in Israel. Its conception and birth as an "agricultural experimental station of the Zionist Executive in Eretz Yisrael" took place at the Ben Shemen farm which was the site of early agricultural experimentation. The decision to found it was taken following a memorandum presented to Dr. Chaim Weizmann, then President of the Zionist Organization, and to Dr. Arthur Ruppin, then head of the Settlement Department, pointing out the necessity of establishing such an institution to foster the development of agriculture in the country.

The first premises occupied by the research institution as such were in Tel Aviv. In 1932, the Institute moved to Rehovot and was renamed "The Agricultural Research Station of the Jewish Agency for Palestine." It remained within that framework for nearly 20 years, dealing with research as well as with agricultural counseling. At the same time, the Institute engaged in teaching to a limited extent, providing all the teachers for the Institute for Agricultural Studies which later became the Faculty of Agriculture of the Hebrew University.

In 1951, after the establishment of the State of Israel, the Institute was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Israel Ministry of Agriculture, and is now the main research facility of the government in the field of agriculture. Instructional functions have now given way almost entirely to research. The Institute's stated purpose is the practical solution of problems confronting local agriculture. In order to accomplish this, the Institute has developed a broad spectrum of applied research activities connected with its basic research projects, and this double-barreled approach is typical of all its departments.

Under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture, the growth of the Institute was rapid, and it was soon apparent that the facilities at Rehovot were less than adequate. The Institute was therefore moved to its present premises at Bet Dagan. Larger budgets, additional staff, and improved equipment have made their contribution to the progress of Israeli agriculture. Within a short period of time, local farmers were able to meet the domestic demand and turn their attention to the export of agricultural products as well as of know-how. Research, like agriculture, was able to adapt itself to the changed conditions and new challenges which arose.

At present, the Institute has at its disposal regional stations, branches and experimental plots in all parts of the country. The Institute's areas of research include field and garden crops, fruit trees, farm animals, soil and water, plant protection, food technology, and agricultural machinery.

In the course of the Jubilee Year of the Institute, the Minister of Agriculture made a decision to establish an Agricultural Research Organization to include the Volcani Institute and other research units. The Organization continues to combine pure and applied research in agriculture, just as the Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research had done in the first fifty years of its existence.

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Jubille Of Volcani Institute Of Agricultural Research