Field crops and vegetables cultivation constitutes the main food source for the rapidly growing world population. In the coming years, these agricultural branches will need to increase yields to feed the world high quality products, while minimizing human environmental footprint under continually decreasing resources. In Israel, field crops and vegetables supply a large part of the local consumption and take a significant part of the cultivated land. These are highly technological and dynamic branches of agriculture, which rely on sophisticated agro- and bio-technology. Continuous scientific research allows for innovations to be incorporated into the practical work leading to elite varieties, new agrotechnical approaches, innovative plant protection and weed control strategies. Today a major part of vegetable and herb production takes place in various types of sheltered growing facilities including greenhouses, net houses, tunnels, and more. Advanced methods such as precision agriculture are utilized for crop production. New varieties are introduced continuously, and export of propagation material and agricultural knowledge is expanding.
The teaching program aims to prepare the master's and doctoral students to lead this dynamic field. To achieve this we strive to provide students with a deep understanding of the physiological and biological principles and processes related to crop productivity in the field. Based on their studies, our graduates are encouraged to develop independent critical thinking that enables them to analyze the challenges of the field and to search for solutions based on professional literature and experimentation.
Many of the advanced courses are given every other year. Courses are given mainly on Mondays, in favor of students who conduct their research project in research centers far from the Rehovot Campus.
As part of the program requirements, students will need to study the undergraduate course 71305, present a seminar in course 71140 or 71194, give a talk about their research in the departmental seminar, and write a thesis.
Research topics include basic biological, biochemical, ecological, genetic and molecular research pertaining to crops and vegetables, applied research of agricultural management, cultivating and nurturing, and an integration of fundamental research with applied research.
Our graduates are frequently employed in crop and vegetable management in farms, agricultural teaching and guidance, high tech food processing, seeds, chemicals and biotechnology. Many of our PhD graduates pursue an academic career in the various research institutions and agricultural experiment stations around Israel, and develop agricultural high-tech products.