Agricultural output in Israel rose by 13 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, according to data released by the Israel Agricultural Institute.
The country’s agricultural production increased by more than a third over the past three years to reach a record 3.7 billion euros ($4.1 billion) in 2015.
This year, the figure is expected to reach 3.9 billion euros, according the Israel Agriculture Institute, which said that was up from 3.4 billion euros in 2016.
The institute’s data, which was published online on Wednesday, showed that in the January-March period, agricultural production grew by almost 5 percent over the same three-year period last century.
In the first three months of the new year, Israeli farmers harvested over 4.2 billion euros worth of crops, up nearly 10 percent from the same month last year.
In terms of production per hectare, Israeli agriculture produced 6.1 percent more food in the second quarter of the current fiscal year compared to the same quarter last year and by 8 percent over a year earlier.
The data also showed that Israeli farmers planted more than 10 percent more land for crop cultivation this year, compared with a year ago.
According to the Israeli Agriculture Ministry, the average size of Israeli farms rose to 1,700 hectares (3,100 acres) in the latest quarter, a record high for the country, up from 1,600 hectares (2,000 acres) a year prior.
Last year, agriculture production was up by 9 percent compared with last year but this year production is expected grow by more, up by 8.5 percent.
The increase was driven by an increase in agricultural land area, up 17 percent to 1.1 million hectares (6.4 million acres), which was a record amount for the third consecutive quarter.
In addition, the increase in output per hectawatt-hour was up to 10 percent, up 2 percent from a year before, and was driven mainly by the expansion of new farming operations, which increased by 5 percent in January and February.
In a bid to combat the drought and agricultural production loss caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the government introduced new measures aimed at improving agricultural production in the country.
In July, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food launched the “Safeguarding the Future of Agriculture” project, which aims to protect the agricultural industry against the threat of a prolonged drought, and to help farmers adjust to climate change.
The project aims to create more jobs in the sector, improve food production, and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture.
The ministry also announced a $10 million investment in the “National Agriculture and Food Research Center” in Israel’s central Galilee region, which will invest in research on the potential of drought resilience in agriculture.
Meanwhile, the Israel National Committee on Agriculture has released a new set of policies aimed at strengthening the country’s agri-food sector.
These new policies include establishing new programs and establishing a new agency to increase agricultural research, support agri/food development, and facilitate and enhance research and development activities in the agri sector.