Leading player in global agricultural market seen by many around the world as model for Israeli success, source of pride.
One of the key global market players in the agriculture, food and fertilizers industry is located right here in Israel. ICL Fertilizers is a global company whose products meet the basic trends and key needs of world development and population growth.
We went out to inquire how fertilizers, which reach a long series of developing companies around the world, are produced from the Dead Sea.
"ICL is a company that deals with the essential needs of world population," ICL President and CEO Stefan Borgas says in a special interview to Ynet.
"The Dead Sea actually is the biggest solar power plant in the world, by far, because we just use the sun for the water to evaporate, and then we take the salt, clean it, process it, and we make fertilizers. And then we transport it in millions of tons, mostly to countries like India, China and Brazil.
ICL's transformation into a leading player in the global agricultural market is admirable and inspirational for many around the world, who see ICL as a model for Israeli success and a source of pride.
"We can make something valuable for the world out of a desert. It's quite amazing," says Borgas.
Addressing the difficulties the company deals with, he says: "We have quite a big challenge because it's very expensive to do. We need to be able to expand the operations in order to be competitive, but we need a license to do this. We are a little bit at a critical moment right now in order to build a future there."
There is much public criticism about the company these days, and many associate it with the decline of the Dead Sea. However, the company always stresses the need to protect the environment.
Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, saw the phosphate and fertilizer industry as a Zionist alternative to the Arab oil industry and as a reason to settle in the Negev. And so, in a way, ICL fulfills this vision of his and represents over 20% of the production and economic activity in the Negev.