It seems that the word pepper has become for a long time now, a synonym with the Arava region, and for a good reason. About 70% of the areas designated for agriculture, are used for growing delicious peppers.
The agriculture in the Arava region is definitely designated for export: Over 95% of the peppers grown in the Arava are sent to the European markets, mostly Holland and England, other Western European countries, Russia and the Ukraine. Only a small portion remains for the local market consumption. The export of peppers from this region started over 20 years ago. At the beginning, the peppers were grown in open field, and over time, gradually, the main growth of peppers has shifted to nethouses and greenhouses.
Arava growing conditions
Even though peppers are a leading branch of export, the growers at the Arava region deal with many issues and complicated challenges. In recent years, they have been affected by the state of the economy at their target market – Europe, the low currency exchange rates, the expensive transport and the fierce competition with the wide variety of peppers from Spain combined with the smaller purchasing power of the Europeans. In addition, the cost of inputs is also on the rise, fertilizers, water, transportation and work force, and as always, the Arava region imposes its harsh environmental conditions, the extreme weather, shortage of water, high salinity of the soil and the extremely high level of solar radiation. Dealing with all these, both natural and man - made challenges, demands a new type of agriculture, professional and smart, and highly tolerant varieties of pepper to thrive in the extreme and ever changing weather conditions.