Project Focuses On Roots Of World Hunger

When the agricultural expertise that produces Georgia’s peaches meets the brains behind Israel’s Jaffa oranges, the result may be a key to ending world hunger. Israeli scientists working under the auspices of the Jewish National Fund, a nonprofit group dedicated to developing Israeli agriculture through reforestation, have teamed up with the University of Georgia School of Forest Resources to study the ecophysiology and genetics of drought-tolerant trees. If successful, the investigation of site manipulation techniques for tree growth in semiarid environments could serve as a model for farmers in Third World countries and for those battling drought in the midwestern United States, says Jamie Walner, a spokeswoman for the JNF.

The 88-year-old organization, which has sponsored land cultivation in Israel’s desert—where drip irrigation and water conservation techniques were pioneered—has recently “tried to branch out and work internationally to develop drought-tolerant lands,” says Walner....

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