One of the lessons that we learnt from the 1959 soil crisis was that we could not rely on agriculture alone as our sole means of livelihood so we started to look for an industrial project that would suit our needs and talents. The need for such a project became even more acute since our agricultural expansion was limited by the amount of water that was allocated to us.
In 1965 our factory Netafim was established. We produce and market mainly low flow irrigation products and drip systems.(http://www.netafim.com/)
The business developed more rapidly than even our greatest expectations. Netafim pioneered drip irrigation in the sixties and is today Israel’s leading producer in that field as well as being a world leader in the development of modern irrigation methods.
Netafim in Israel is comprised of three manufacturing plants at three different kibbutzim, Yftach in the north, Magal in the center and Hatzerim in the south.
Due to our belief in the kibbutz principle of self-labour we do our best to minimize the employment of hired labour and during the periods of huge growth we chose to enter into cooperative arrangements with other kibbutzim in the area.
Farming on the kibbutz has been greatly reduced lately and our agricultural side now consists of the milk farm and jojoba plantations. Jojoba Israel is a relatively new industrial venture established by the kibbutz to extract oil from jojoba beans, which is exported for use in the cosmetics industry.
In addition to these we continue to cultivate non-irrigated crops about 60km north of the kibbutz.
Other profitable branches of the kibbutz are the law offices, a craft shop and a smithy.
Our entire economy is based on the work of more than 400 members and in total there are about 1000 people who live on the kibbutz.
Some children born on the kibbutz have already become members while others have left and chosen a different way of life. A large number of our children who have left school are currently engaged in various activities. These include a years community service for high school graduates who are allowed by the army to defer their draft for a year, military service for both boys and girls, higher education or working on the kibbutz while they decide what they want to do. The kibbutz grants its children 15 years of education.
At present there are about 260 children up to the age of 18, at which age they are due to enter the army.
Our kibbutz elementary school is a local school dedicated to the promotion of the values of community, nature and art and our high school students study at the nearby Eshel Hanasi Regional Comprehensive High School.
Since 1978 our children up to the age of 15 sleep at home, after that if they wish they can transfer to the youth area.