Israeli technology leads to potatoes in the desert
Israeli agricultural experts have achieved what people said could never be done - they have grown potatoes in harsh desert environment in Colombia.
"From this desert you might receive stones, but not potatoes," that's what local farmers in Colombia's northern La Guajira desert said when presented with an Israeli proposal to grow potatoes in the region.
One year and Israeli technology has proved them wrong and farmers have harvested 11 tons of potatoes from the desert.
La Guajira is a region that produces coal and it was the coal industry that financed the potato project. The project, and its results , are a world first.
The project was thought up by Isaac Gilinski, the Colombian ambassador to Israel.
The son of Israeli immigrants, Gilinski knew well of Israel's agricultural prowess and, with the help of Israeli agricultural expert Avi Nachmias, determined to bring that expertise to his country. Nachmias and others trained local Colombian farmers and helped install an Israeli irrigation system.
Officials from the Israeli Embassy in Bogota who visited the new La Guajira potato farms said, "The locals were in shock over this miracle. The farmers here are very conservative by nature, so it was not easy for them to break old habits and try something new. But from their point of view, this was a tremendous success, since a local potato harvest will create a lot of new income."
Colombian officials are reportedly eager to repeat what the experiment in other parts of the country.