Central equipment unit for the enhancement of agriculture and environmental research
This proposal has been formulated following a discussion held between Mr. Yoki Lothan, ICA, Prof. Yona Chen, ICA and the Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, and Prof. Yitzhak Hadar, Dean of the Faculty. One of the major roles of agriculture is to provide the world’s growing population with diverse and sufficient food, while ensuring that the quality of the environment is not compromised.
Today, most of Israel’s agriculture is concentrated in the northern and southern regions of the country. Some 900 out of our 2,200 students are from these regions. About 700 post-graduate students (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) are active on campus, performing research that advances agricultural needs in a clean environment. This is the most significant body of young researchers in Israel interested in agriculture and they will be the backbone of Israel’s agricultural production in the future. Many of the faculty’s graduates are employed in agricultural research stations and in the extension service in the Arava and Galilee.
The main objectives of the project are:
To provide researchers and students alike with a modern infrastructure adapted to meet cutting-edge agricultural and environmental research.
To establish a Central Equipment Unit.
To strengthen the already existing academic ties between the Faculty and scientists and students, in the agricultural research stations in the peripheral regions of the country.
The following major focal research areas of the Unit will be strengthened by the acquisition of:
(i) Mass spectrometers for molecular biology – protein chemistry, nucleic acid research, genetics, breeding – and for analytical chemistry of the environment, ecological and physiological studies;
(ii) Analytical instruments needed to study food production based on detailed analyses of agriculturally important plant and animal based products; and
(iii) Analytical instruments for the analyses of: nutritional elements, pollutants and heavy metals in soil and water, reclaimed wastewater and in the food chain.