Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Doyle Conner

Video Script

Tel Aviv. Recently an international exhibition called AgriTech 90 was held at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds featuring the latest in agro-technology.

Israel is considered a world leader in this field. Sixty-five percent of the exhibits were developed by Israeli companies.

Visitors came from as far away as the Americas and the Far East to see the latest technology in the ongoing search for ways to increase crop yields and profits.

One of the honored guests at the exhibit was Doyle Conner of Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Doyle Conner: I’ve been interested in seeing things such as the tunnel frost protection devices you have. I was looking at them and I was asking your Minister of Agriculture today more about that.

Israel’s markets for these goods are mainly in the Americas and Western Europe. This year, however, Eastern Europe joined the other interested participants.

Raphy Ramon: Four or five hundred visitors are now in the exhibition, from Hungary, from Russia, from Bulgaria, from Czechoslovakia, from Romania. And the last two years, we are keeping a very tight connection with the countries. We have already now 4,500 visitors from 110 countries from all over the world, including countries that are not keeping a relationship with Israel. We have visitors from the Arab countries, we have visitors from India, we have visitors from China, and from many other countries as I mentioned.

Anything you can imagine was at this exhibition, especially in the area of drip irrigation. Israel has a reputation as the world’s leader in drip irrigation because of her arid climate.

So, ingenious ways were devised to provide maximum irrigation using a minimal amount of water, including Space Age-looking bubbles that mix chemicals with air to better fertilize the crops.

These devices produce crop yields that outstrip conventional methods. The end results are fruits and vegetables that are picked in the morning and on European and American shelves by afternoon.

Using advanced hothouse techniques combined with drip irrigation, all linked into computers, Israel has become one of the world’s most successful flower growers, exporting around the world.

Doyle Conner: Just let me thank the people of the State of Israel for your hospitality. Those of us from Florida, we enjoy coming here, we enjoy receiving your delegation when you come to the State of Florida. My wife was with me when I was here before; she particularly enjoyed it, and she joins me in inviting any delegations from Israel to come and visit us in Florida, and we would be glad to have you visit us in our home.

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