Center for Sustainable Agriculture

CSA staff

ELAINE SOLOWEY Director of Center for Sustainable Agriculture

YAIR WAHLE Co-Director

I had a very positive academic experience at the Arava Institute. It was very different than university. At the Institute I felt that the professors really cared about the students and taught their subjects with passion. Their passion made me passionate. I particularly enjoyed studying with Elaine Solowey and her class about sustainable agriculture where we learned about the effects of global climate change and in response learned to create and maintain our own garden in the Arava desert.

Eliana Farber, Fall ’14 & Spring ’15

The Center for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), directed by Dr. Elaine Solowey, is a vital player in the field of desert agriculture and sustainable agriculture in the Middle East and the world. The Center is dedicated to the investigation and preservation of arid lands and their natural resources, and works collaboratively with leading institutions including Ben-Gurion University, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Sde Boqer, and the Department of Applied Research.

Dr. Solowey’s research in the Experimental Orchards, which she founded in 1975, is the foundation for important new applications in botanical medicine, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. Her work covers a wide range of subjects including the study of endangered medicinal herbs, the search for crops that can be grown in arid and saline soil, and the investigation into raising plants on marginal lands suitable for the production of ethanol for bio-fuel.



Dr. Solowey’s Middle East Medicinal Plant Project (MEMP), which is sponsored by the Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Research Center of Hadassah Hospital, aims to protect and propagate the rare medicinal and biblical plants of the Southern Negev and Dead Sea area. [Read more]


Methuselah is a date palm that Dr. Elaine Solowey sprouted from a 2,000-year-old date seed. This seed, among others, was found during the excavations of Masada in the mid 1960’s. In 2005, several of these seeds were obtained by the Louis L. [Read more]


After 35 + years of work, two of Dr. Solowey’s longest standing projects with the Argania Spinosa tree and the Marula tree, have finally come to fruition. [Read more]


In 1975, Dr. Solowey established the Experimental Orchards. The orchards are the foundation for important new applications in botanical medicine, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. [Read more]

Close Menu