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Women Empowerment in Sustainable Agriculture and Biotechnology for Dryland Systems

Goal: We would like to provide a forum of women leaders for teaching and networking across borders, from Israeli's dryland agricultural system solutions to Brazil.

Interview with Amber Hill


Research Topic:

  • Provide sustainable agricultural solutions for dryland agriculture
  • Women empowerment forum in agriculture and biotechnology
  • Find local solutions for dryland agricultural challenges
  • Network across borders for more sustainable agriculture practices



Iael Raij

PhD student
Iael is involved in soil physics and irrigation management tools. Her research focus is on affordable low-cost lysimeters for in-situ irrigation and fertilization scheduling. This technology can help to apply irrigation water that matches plant needs and assist with sustainable management of irrigation with low quality waters.

Amber Hill

Amber's research is on sustainable agriculture in the desert. Her focus is on water use efficiency in desert plants and how to apply that to irrigation systems in growing crops in the desert, specifically in the use of dew as a water source. She is also heavily involved in permaculture and its application in the desert as well.

Isabel Portugal

post doctorate fellow
Isabel is a marine biologist in love with the desert. She has a degree in aquaculture and now is doing her PhD in biotechnology. Her research focuses on mass production of microalgae and its use as an immunostimulant for fish. This study includes the analysis of the effects of the incorporation of the polyunsaturated fatty acid from the algae in fish tissues and heath related benefits.

Nataly De Falco

PhD student
Natalie is an Ecohydrologist, researching on biogeochemical processes in streams that receive waste water. Her main focus is the ecological relations between solutes transport and degradation of nutrients in surface waters. Her work integrates hydrology, microbial ecology and geochemestry.

Assaf Chen

PhD student
I am interested in water resource management and policy. My skills range from watershed hydrology and stream restoration to geo-spatial modeling and remote sensing. I try to tackle environmental-socio-ecological problems holistically applying inter and multi-disciplinary sustainable solutions, thinking globally and acting locally. I'm an avid ... Read more


WESAB Forum Grossos



Our partner

GEPARN is located in Currais Novos/ RN, BRAZIL. Our collaboration is based on the common aspects between the northeast of Brazil and the south of Israel where these two arid areas are dealing with desertification and the search for dry-land solutions. Together, with networking across borders leading to more research, ideas can be formulated and shared, which will lead to innovations in sustainable agriculture in both countries.

The Brazilian leading team - Magda Guilhermino

Magda's research and teaching main interests are related to the sustainable development of family famers in semiarid regions, recovering Bioma Caatinga and its rational use for vegetable and animal production.
Her current research - (extension project aims a public policy to mitigate the effects of climate changes through ecological restoration of areas of environmental protection and legal reserve in the productive units of family farms in semiarid using agro-ecological actions.
Foto MAgda Lattes 2016


WESAB Forum Grossos – Rio Grande do Norte / Brazil


April 2018

In April 2018, a group of north Brazilian sustenance women farmers came together to build a community and learn together. WESAB- women's empowerment in sustainable agriculture held its first 12 day forum with a series of workshops and lectures including a range of sustainable agriculture topics, from sustainable water use in grey water and rain catchment, to soil tests and compost building and seeds saving, while all throughout learning about themselves and each other by digging and planting together in a joint effort so by the end of the course they had created a community garden, with hopes of making another garden in the neighboring community. This was an amazing experience for all involved, the farmers and the teachers who came from all over the world including USA, Brazil and Israel through the web or live in person. There was knowledge transfer and community building with many new ideas and sustainable practices burgeoning.


Agro-Hydrologic Technology and Sustainable Knowledge Transfer in Rural Arid Zones

The agricultural course offered will be for primarily for women in the field and students of agriculture and hydrology departments. This course will be composed of topics related to fish and microalgae culture, specifically in desert conditions. Another main topic will be related to the organism and cell physiology of stress response within the frame of whole plant environment interaction. The third topic will be related to the root zone of irrigated plants addressing water flow and soil challenges in the plant environment.
The first part of the course will include theoretical knowledge in the agriculture and biotechnology field including subjects that pertain to the local needs and research and development that has been designed and put into practice in Israel. We will explore examples of both working systems and challenges that Israel has faced and dealt with. Then the course will be taking these examples and putting them into practice in a model farm in Brazil where we will see how to implement the examples by finding solutions to specific issues that the local farmers are facing.


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If this project interests you, please feel free to get in contact about possible donation or sponsorship opportunities.