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    The Wonders of Cacti Israel


    by NTDTelevision

    Now to Israel, where our correspondents discover the wonders of cacti.
    With so many prickly hairs, can cacti actually be eaten?

    Let's take a closer look at the plant—nicknamed "Tzabar" by Israelis, by heading south to the Negev desert, where a large cacti plantation awaits.

    A farmer at Orly Plantation, Noam Blum, grew up dreaming of a new kind of agriculture—Israeli cacti farming.

    Israeli cacti are considered the best in the world, producing extraordinary fruit of high quality, both deliciously sweet and colorful.

    Blum says cacti hold a special quality and can be a solution for countries with limited rain.

    Blum's plantation has been dry for 10 years, but the cacti still survive.


    After wandering between cacti plantations, Blum provides a dish of cacti fruit—often known as 'prickly pears'—a real delicacy.


    Blum has also discovered therapeutic qualities in cacti.

    [Shahar Blum, Assistant Director General]:( Male, Hebrew)
    "[Cacti] reduce cholesterol levels, lipid levels. Its greatest advantage is in its therapeutic benefits."

    [Noam Blum, Farmer, Orly Plantation]:( Male, Hebrew)
    "Cacti's contribution on one hand is in providing healthy food that grows without pesticides—completely organic. On the other hand, cacti help us cope with problems that the western world is so concerned about today—that is, the number one enemy of health in the west—obesity, diabetes and heart disease."

    For many years, some have likened Israelis to cacti... thorny on the outside but sweet and mellow on the inside. But Blum says Israelis are just like cacti because both are survivors.

    [Shahar Blum, Assistant Director General]: ( Male, Hebrew)
    "We are basically survivors. We wish to stay here. The cactus is exactly the same. It doesn't get any water for 10 years, yet it survives, nothing can change that. Our slogan here at the plantation is "being a Tzabar, being Israeli."

    Reporter: Israela Yablonka Photographer: Anat Markram
    NTD News, Israel