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Israel Central Statistics Bureau Publishes Milk and Honey Production Data for Shavuot

Highlighting Agricultural Achievements and Challenges in 2023

In celebration of Shavuot, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) released its annual report on milk and honey production in Israel for 2023, offering a detailed look at the nation's agricultural output.

Israel boasts the highest milk yield per cow globally, with each cow producing an impressive 12,265 kg annually, a 1.6% increase from the previous year. This figure places Israel significantly ahead of other leading dairy nations such as Denmark (10,571 kg) and Estonia (10,183 kg). The Netherlands, known for its dairy industry, produced 9,086 kg per cow.

A standout achievement highlighted in the report is the record-breaking performance of a cow named Kharta from Sa’ad in the Negev, which produced 18,208 liters of milk. The Israel Dairy School, which trains international dairy farmers on Israeli agro-tech innovations, credits these advancements for the country's high efficiency and productivity.

Despite these successes, total milk production in Israel saw a slight decline in 2023, dropping to 1,635 million liters—a 0.5% decrease from the previous year. Concurrently, milk prices rose by 9.5%, and the value of milk to producers increased by 4.7%, reaching an estimated 4.1 billion NIS, which constitutes about 11% of Israel's total agricultural output.

Cow's milk dominates Israel's dairy sector, accounting for over 95% of total production. Sheep's and goat's milk make up the remaining 5%, experiencing sharper price increases of 15.7%, 6.4%, and 5.3%, respectively.

In contrast, honey production in Israel faced significant challenges in 2023. Overall honey production fell by 22.2% to 3,500 tons, attributed to a less rainy year compared to 2022. This decline impacted the value of honey to producers, which decreased by 1.3% to 63.9 million NIS. Despite this, honey prices saw a slight increase of 0.7% in 2023.

Israel's approximately 124,000 beehives produced around 30 kg of honey per hive, insufficient to meet local demand. This shortfall led to an increase in honey imports, rising from 2,000 tons to 3,000 tons.

As Shavuot celebrates agriculture and the bounty of the land, these statistics underscore both the strengths and the areas for improvement in Israel's agricultural sector. Israel's innovative practices in dairy farming continue to set global benchmarks, while challenges in honey production highlight the need for adaptive strategies in response to environmental changes.

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