As every year, a tour of the date harvest (gadid) in the south Arava, organized by Amnon Greenberg, chairman of the Date Board and a researcher at the southern Arava R&D, was held.
About 25 people participated in the tour, including Prof. Abed Gera – Director of Plant Protection Services and Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Agriculture, Moshe Bruckenthal – Director of the Fruit industry of the Plants Production and Marketing Board, farmers and researchers from the northern and southern Arava. Rachel, the granddaughter of Ben Zion Israeli, who was from second aliyah, a pioneer in agriculture and one of the first innovators of the date palm branch in Israel, was also present.
The tour, which began at 5:00 in the morning, included mechanical harvesting in kibbutz Yotvata and kibbutz Samar date orchards and explanations of the stages of handling the fruit post harvest. The group also visited a date orchard of kibbutz Elifaz, where the conventional method and a manual harvesting machine with a bucket conveyor system is used.