The Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) – Volcani Institute, founded in 1921, stands as the oldest, largest, and leading agricultural research institution in Israel. As the research arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, ARO is a powerhouse oriented to enhancing the agricultural sector and addressing the challenges of the 21st century. With a dedicated team of experts, ARO is involved in both basic and applied research, covering a wide range of agricultural domains. It particularly focuses on advancements in arid zone agriculture, given the fact that Israel – a country short of all the resources required for agriculture, achieves among the highest levels of agricultural output in the world.
The People Behind the Research
ARO boasts a diverse team of 200 scientists with PhD degrees, supported by 450 research assistants and 120 administration staff members, who jointly ensure smooth and efficient research conduct. Furthermore, ARO serves as a knowledge dissemination base by engaging 300 graduate students and hosting 100 visiting trainees in post-doctoral programs.
Centers of Excellence
Fast-tracking of the Crop Development
ARO in CrackSense
Volcani serves as the leading organization of CrackSense consortium, and it comprises a team of five researchers, project manager and accompanying staff, and some are highlighted in the infographic below.
In CrackSense, the primary responsibility of the ARO, in addition to project management, involves the identification of variations at a field-scale level and the examination of tree-related factors linked to fruit cracking. This analysis extends to understanding how fruit cracking is connected to tree health and the subsequent yield loss. ARO’s duties also encompass the deployment of remote sensing technologies, including both active and passive sensing-based UAVs, to assess tree health and yield, as well as to estimate the yield loss associated with cracking on a regional scale. During the project’s lifetime, ARO will perform experiments and pilots in citruses, pomegranates and grapes.