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AKOL – using the cloud to feed the developing world

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

As reported in Israel21c:

AKOL gives low-income farmers the ability to get top-level information from professional sources.

Food prices are going up, and experts say they will continue to rise, thanks to changing weather patterns and unprecedented drought in the wrong places (Australia, China and Russia) at the wrong time, just when the burgeoning population of the world is using up stored food at an alarming rate.

Since much of its land mass is desert, Israel is in a unique position to help these countries and others learn to cope with drought – and Israeli company AKOL has developed an exclusive Internet-based system to share that information with those who need it most. Recently, corporate giant IBM signed a development agreement with the company, whose name is an acronym for Agricultural Knowledge On-Line.

“Since its founding in 1978, AKOL has pioneered the integration of IT systems in the agricultural sector and built computer and IT solutions that have won it renown in Israel and around the world,” says company CEO Ron Shani.

“Years before the popularization of the Internet, we had online databases and applications that members of Kibbutz Bror Hayil in southern Israel [which houses and owns AKOL] were able to access in order to improve their productivity. Over the years, we developed applications for many areas of agriculture, including raising poultry, managing vineyards and producing olive oil.”

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