Study shows olive trees may solve desertification

Tens of thousands of olive trees planted in Israel's arid areas are environmentally beneficial, according to research conducted by Dr. Zohar Kerem of the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition in the Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in conjunction with the Agricultural Research Organization.

"Olive trees are not very picky," Kerem told Ynet News, adding that that they can thrive under extreme weather conditions, require very little care and greatly benefit the environment by reducing the atmospheric levels of CO2

While some researchers disagree about the environmental benefits of planting trees in arid areas — claiming it leads to a change in the natural fabric and local wildlife — Kerem disagreed. "It's a golden measure. Even though it's agriculture, the area remains intact." In addition, Kerem told Ynet news, the trees produced high-quality oil with significant health benefits since they contain a high percentage of anti-oxidants.

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