NEW YORK (Nov. 2)
Israel’s first land survey, a three-year project completed last month, reveals that the country possesses approximately 1,300,000 acres–about one-fourth of Israel’s total land area–of potentially irrigable land, it was reported today by the Jewish Agency here. This figure substantially exceeds previous estimates.
Some 2,375,000 acres were surveyed by aerial photography and ground crews. The area involved stretched from the northern border to a point some eight miles south of Beersheba. The remaining 2,750,000 acres represent the arid portion of the Negev which is considered to have very limited immediate agricultural potential.
“Experts estimate that Israel’s known water resources could enable the irrigation of 1,000,000 acreas. A bout 125,000 acres are currently under irrigation. This would make it possible for Israel to feed a population of 4,000,000 producing sufficient quantities of all required staples except wheat and meat,” the Jewish Agency report says. “The country also possesses 475,000 acres suitable for pasturage and another 225,000 acres which could serve for both pasturage and afforestation. This acreage could support enough cattle to produce 10,000 tons of meat per year.”