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Committee to Develop Soilless Farming in Palestine Formed in New York

April 13, 1945
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The formation of a committee for the development in Palestine of hydroponics, a method of soilless farming invented by an American scientist, was announced today at a gathering in the Hotel Commodore. Louis P. Rocker of New York, is chairman of the group.

Professor William C. Gericke, of Berkeley, California, originator of hydroponics, and Dr. S. E. Soskin, noted Palestinian agricultural expert, were on hand to explain the new method of farming and its importance as a means of increasing the productive and absorptive capacity of Palestine. They displayed to the group of business and communal leaders who attended the gathering a hydroponics tank with tomatoes, beet roots and celery growing in a solution of inorganic salts, instead of earth.

“Palestine,” Dr. Soskin said, “has a mild climate and ample sunshine but its southern part, known as the Negev, which comprises nearly half of the country’s total area, is semi-arid. Under existing conditions, the Negev cannot be exploited for farming until such a time as sufficient water can be provided to settlers in that region by irrigation, and even then it would be costly, demanding large quantities of both water and chemical fertilizers.” Dr. Soskin said that the introduction of hydroponics in the Negev would mean immediate settlement and cultivation of the land.

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