PM Netanyahu (R) at Volcani agricultural center’s Tu B’Shvat presentation (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Israeli agricultural development and technology are a “great strength for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said at an exhibit on the eve of Tu B’Shvat, Israel’s New Year for Trees.

On the holiday of Tu B’Shvat, there is a custom is to eat new seasonal fruit, particularly those from the “Seven Species” described in the Bible as being plentiful in the Land of Israel.

Just in time for Tu B’Shvat – the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, which falls this year on Sunday evening and marks the ‘New Year for Trees’ in Israel – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, together with other government ministers, observed an exhibit of Israel’s latest developments in agricultural research.

The event took place Sunday at the Agricultural Research Organization’s (ARO) Volcani Center, located in Beit Dagan near Tel Aviv. Volcani’s director, Prof. Yoram Kapulnik, presented the dignitaries with samples of the new varieties of fruits and vegetables developed at the center.

Israeli development and technology in recent years improved the flavor as well as extending shelf-life, product quality and making the fruits and vegetables more accessible to the public at large, Netanyahu’s media adviser said.

Israeli agricultural products are gaining worldwide acclaim. Some of the exhibited fruits are still in developmental stages, while others are already being marketed.

“I am very proud of Israeli agriculture and the developments from the Volcani Center. Israeli farmers are incredibly creative; this is a global force,” Netanyahu stated at the center. “I was aware of this at Milan Expo and more recently at Davos. Many countries, from every continent, want to benefit from our innovations, your innovations. I have revolutionary thoughts about how to use this ability on the commercial, international and diplomatic level.

“To this end, I am interested in forging a partnership between the Volcani Center and countries that are interested,” which would “thereby greatly expand your activity both nationally and internationally,” Netanyahu added. “This is a great strength for the State of Israel. This is especially welcome on Tu B’Shvat.”