Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash
Photo by Israel21c

Pedro Berliner

Professor of Dryland Agriculture

Ben Gurion University


Professor of Dryland Agriculture


Ben Gurion University







What makes Pedro Berliner a Global Shaker?

Professor Pedro Berliner is director of Israel’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, where he has been actively championing the use of ancient desert farming methods.

According to Israel21c, the academic believes that the system used by the Nabatean peoples — the founders of the desert city of Petra, who were known for making the most of desert rain 2,000 years ago— could save people in the present developing countries from drought, famine and desertification.

The Nabateans collected and channelled floodwaters through desert canals to provide firewood, grain and food for animals to eat. Berliner’s updated version, called a runoff agroforestry system, sees crops planted in between shrub-like trees. The crops stop floodwater evaporating, the tree roots can absorb nitrogen from the air, and the tree leaves help to fertilise the crops once they fall to the ground.

The Professor holds a PhD in Agrometeorology and Soil Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and worked as a senior agrohydrologist at the Water Research Commission.

Tags: Drought, Farming, Israel

Last updated: June 17, 2019