A visit to the Israeli olive germplasm collection took place to check the accomplishments of the requirements to be met by an IOC member country wishing to be the repository of an international olive plant collection recognised by the IOC.
The visit counted with the presence of Shmuel Assoline, Director of the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) Volcani Center, Giora Ben-Ari, Germplasm collection manager/responsible & researcher, Yair Many, Germplasm collection field responsible, Iris Biton, Germplasm collection lab responsible, Naama Rosenberg & Michal Goldberger Ben Zvi, Spokespersons and Public Relations, Sisai Isaac, Germplasm collection field worker, Stas Vinogradov, Germplasm collection field worker, Uri Yogev, manager of the Israeli olive oil council, Yitzhak Ziphori, expert & consultant of the Israeli Olive Oil Council, and David Aviv, Project manager Zayit – Jewish culture in Hefer valley. From the IOC, the Head of the olive growing, olive technology and environment Unit, Lhassane Sikaoui, and the Head of the Technical Cooperation and Training Department, Catarina Bairrao Balula, participated in the visit.
An introduction to the collection was made and long discussions took place on its importance. Verifications were made in what refers to the location and characteristics of the collection itself, related with area, density, irrigation system, water source, soil profile, to the nursery, green-house and lath-house, to the research area (laboratories, equipment, staff, universities involved), the weather station, the agricultural machinery, equipment and tools park (tractor, trailers and farm equipment), the farm support staff, proximity to the official plant health services and other research institutions, airport accessibility, on the financial and operational capacity, etc. This process will soon be concluded.