Name: Yaniv Savir
Farm established: 1975
They grow grapes and only grapes on 200 dunams of land. Their grapes are well known in Israel for their high quality. They have 15 different varieties of which four are patented by an American R&D company. They are the only ones in Israel who are licensed to grow and market these strains.
They’ve been collaborating with Agrostudies for the past six years and have 8 interns on their farm from Laos. “We were amongst the first to join, the first to realize the mutual advantage of hosting interns and they’re great”, Savir says “they come here to develop and integrate in farm. They completely fit in, they understand things quickly and enjoy learning”.
Aside from the interns, Mr. Savir works with over 50 workers throughout the year. Growing grapes, he explained, is one of the most complex jobs you can do in horticulture. So much has to be done by hand. You have to go over each and every cluster manually and when the time comes to harvest, you can’t use machines. You need gentle hands to handle the grapes, to pick them and package them. “That’s why the interns are such a blessing, it gives us some leeway and allows us to do what we do in the best and most efficient way”.
At Savir plantation most of the grapes are grown in net houses. These are dense crystal nets, relatively new technology that began being used in Israel eight years ago. The nets create a micro-climate that protects the grapes from direct sunlight. The sunbeams are split and dispersed at 360° degrees. This method prevents many diseases and pests and makes it possible to use fewer pesticides. “Afterwards when the time comes to harvest we find ourselves in a completely different league, it increases the growth and the strength of the plant. Sometimes when a plant gets stronger it’s at the expense of its fertility”, Savir explains, “but there is a balancing point, and we’re constantly checking ourselves to make sure that we’ve hit it”.
One year ago Yaniv Savir received a badge of excellence for his work in the fruit industry in Israel, for use of technology and personal achievements. The ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture and all the most important personas of the Israeli agricultural world. In a way, he’s come full circle as his father received the same honor thirty years ago.
This was at a time when his mother, an artist, would personally trim the plants, giving them that special edge that a family enterprise, operated from the heart, has.
He’s a second generation farmer but that doesn’t mean his enthusiasm has waned. He has his own family now and they live in the very scenic Lakish region, on the plantation. He plans to continue for a very long time, enjoying life on the farm and raising his family.
“I love the work; I’m very connected to it, to working with mother earth. It gives me a lot of strength, metal and physical”.