In a proactive response to the escalating impact of climate change on agriculture, an Israeli farm, Ben Dor Nurseries, is pioneering the crossbreeding of fruits to withstand the challenges posed by increasingly severe weather conditions.
Ben Dor Nurseries, led by CEO Ido Ben Dor, recognizes the urgency of developing resilient fruit varieties to combat climate-related agricultural challenges. Ben Dor Nurseries has conducted experiments on various fruit species in harsh environments such as Dubai and northern Europe to identify those with valuable traits. Ido Ben Dor emphasizes the importance of selecting the right parents to instill resilience or tolerance to diseases, stress, and climate conditions in the offspring.
One notable achievement of these efforts is the creation of the Eden pear, designed to resist sunburns and heat stress while also avoiding the contagious fire blight disease that affects apples and pears. The fire blight disease, known for causing scorched leaves and rapid wilting, poses a significant threat to fruit trees. Ben Dor Nurseries has also introduced other unique fruits, including plumegranates, aromacots, blackots, and watermelon plums.
In the pursuit of resilient fruits, taste remains a crucial factor. However, the focus on developing fruits that can thrive in challenging conditions takes precedence. This aligns with broader global initiatives, such as the work of plant biologist Bénédicte Wenden in France, who seeks fruits like apples, cherries, apricots, and peaches that can withstand warmer winter climates.
As climate predictions from the Copernicus Climate Change Service indicate above-average temperatures in Europe between December 2023 and February 2024, concerns about the impact on fruit crops arise. Despite the alarming trends in global temperatures, these challenges provide opportunities for agricultural innovators like Ben Dor Nurseries to identify and crossbreed fruits with increased resistance to climate-related stressors.
All in all, Ben Dor Nurseries’ commitment to developing climate-resilient fruits underscores the vital role of innovation in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture. As climate challenges persist, the pursuit of durable fruit varieties becomes a cornerstone in securing global food supply chains.