Agricultural Kibbutz Avoids Pesticides and Chemical Fertilizing

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One kibbutz in Israel specializes in organic agriculture. The farmers there feel that chemicals are bad for the soil and for the human body. Our Israeli correspondents traveled to the fertile Beit Shean Valley near the Sea of Galilee to bring you this report.

For many years man developed an agriculture believing that the key to plentiful crops lies in the use of pesticides and chemical fertilization. In Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, farmers discovered that it is possible to cultivate crops without the use of chemicals.

[Mario Levy, Agriculturalist, Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu]:
“The organic agriculture is a different world perception. [Organic agriculture] is to walk along with nature. The earth is the source of human life and if for example we give earth a chemical fertilization, this breaks the natural equilibrium of the ground, since the ground is a living body, full of life. Every cubic centimeter of the ground.”

And what are the dangers in the use of chemical fertilizers or in pesticides that are not natural?

[Mario Levy, Agriculturalist, kKbbutz Sde Eliyahu]:
“It was found that the use of pesticides damages all the bodily systems of a human being. Everything — the nervous system, asthmatic illnesses, liver, and worse of all, a man does not even feel that he is being hurt and he can give birth to children with disabilities and it is the greatest blame that no one seems to pay attention to. The second thing, that is not less important, is the imbalance that is caused to the plants by the use of unnatural methods, which brings damage to man.”

What can be done about it?

It turns out that Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu has discovered that it is possible to flow with nature in agriculture too.

[Shaul Aviel, Agriculturalist, Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu]:
” We succeeded in combining the nature in our fields and biological pesticides. Here it is all organic, thus we are not using aerosols against weeds, we are using donkeys to extricate the weeds.”

[Mario Levy, Agriculturalist, Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu]:
“we hang bottles with water to scare away jackals.”

[Shaul Aviel, Agriculturalist, Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu]:
“Ninety percent from the barn owl hunting is caused by hurtful rodents, therefore this is a tremendous advantage.” “The barn owl brings savings to the organic grower.”

Then, is it possible to cultivate agriculture without chemicals and why do only a small percentage of farmers grow organic agriculture?

[Mario Levy, Agriculturalist, Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu]:
“On account of nearsightedness — they saw that the use of chemical fertilizers results in abundant crops, but they did not see all the side effects and problems it brings along, like nitrates, which is topflight poison and it penetrates the depth of the ground and we pump that water…”

It turns out that scientists too have a part in the decision to use chemicals.

[Mario Levy, Agriculturalist, Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu]:
“Mankind still has not understood this. Why? It is because our scientists see from the nose to the mouth and nothing more. They see what they can obtain and the prizes that they can win, but they don’t see the disaster that descended on humanity on account of the so called advancement and the progress that we’ve obtained, which is in sharp contrast with nature itself.”

NTD, Israel

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