Main visual representing our campaign "Meet our Consortium Leader - Volcani Institute"

Meet our Consortium Leader – Volcani Institute

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.

Meet our Consortium Leader – Volcani Institute 2(2)
ARO experimental fields and research locations

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

ARO’s commitment to excellence is evident through its various centers of expertise, which are dedicated to advancing specific fields within agriculture. Some of these centers are described in the infographic.
By leveraging cutting-edge solutions such as artificial intelligence and nanotechnology for improving crop yields and pest control, exploring the world of beneficial microbes for agricultural applications, tackling climate change issues and promoting animal well-being, ARO strives to solve critical issues in agriculture and pave the way for a sustainable and productive future.

Fast-tracking of the Crop Development

One of ARO’s pilar achievements lies in the field of variety development, where remarkable reduction in time to breed new crop varieties has been achieved. Classical breeding methods typically take 7-10 years to develop a new variety. However, at the Centre for Genomic Editing at Volcani Institute, this development time is cut by one-half to two-thirds.
The primary focus of the Centre is on a variety of crops that are of local and global importance in the agricultural landscape, including berries, olives, grapes, apricots, persimmons, pomegranates, pears, citrus fruits, figs, lychees, almonds, avocados, and mangos.

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.

Meet our Consortium Leader – Volcani Institute

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.