Menu JTA Search

‘Soilless’ Farming Seen Answer to Palestine Land Act; Agency Tests Promising

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

"Soilless agriculture" may be the reply of Palestine Jewry to the ordinance limiting unrestricted land purchase by Jews to less than five per cent of the country.

Agricultural experts of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, it was learned today, have been at work developing methods which would reduce the amount of land necessary to support a family.

In recent years methods of intensive cultivation have succeeded in reducing the area necessary to support a family, until today a Jewish family in Palestine can maintain itself on a plot less than half that considered necessary to maintain an Arab family.

An experimental settlement was recently established in Palestine where, by intensive farming methods, it is believed ten dunams (2 1/5 acres) are sufficient for one family.

Since the development of "soilless agriculture" in the United States, Jewish Agency experts under the direction of Dr. Chaim Weizmann have been studying the possibility of adapting the methods to Palestine, which has large supplies of chemicals necessary to these methods in the Dead Sea deposits.

It is understood here that considerable progress in this direction has been made and large-scale experiments may soon be attempted in Palestine. It is pointed out that use of the process would permit agricultural development in large areas where the soil now is unsuitable for agriculture and would otherwise involve extensive treatment before it could be made to yield crops.

Successful application of the process in Palestine would considerably increase the absorptive capacity of the Holy Land and enable agricultural settlement of additional thousands of Jews who otherwise would be kept from the land by the limitations of the ordinance.

It is learned that Dr. Weizmann, a renowned biochemist, has taken a deep personal interest in the experiments and has reported optimistically on the possibilities of using the "soilless" methods in Palestine.

NEXT STORY