The livelihood of the residents of Ramat Negev is based largely on agriculture and agricultural farms. In order to encourage agricultural livelihood, the Ramat Negev Regional Council established the Ramat Negev Desert Agricultural Research Center for research and development of advanced agriculture, based on brackish water irrigation from underground aquifers pumped up from regional wells, in addition to water from the national carrier.
The center was established near the settlement of Ashalim, about 30 km. south of Beer Sheva. The purpose of the R&D is development of agro technical methods of growth, irrigation, fertilization and cultivation of agricultural crops and adapting them to the unique ecological conditions of the area. This is achieved by initiating surveys, theoretical research and many practical experiments.
The contribution of the Ramat Negev R&D is expressed in the tools and knowledge it provides for expanding possibilities of agricultural crops, irrigation with brackish water, advantages of improved quality, development of new varieties suitable to the region, achieving top quality yields, increasing the water allotment for agriculture, and turning the agricultural farm into a profitable farm. The Ramat Negev R&D also contributes to the development of aquaculture in the region.
The research work is carried out by local researchers and researchers from recognized scientific institutions, under the guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Ramat Negev R&D has established an international center for advanced agricultural studies. The purpose of the program: theoretical and practical advanced agricultural training for students from various countries all over the world, in which the agriculture is underdeveloped. The center works in full cooperation with the academic institutions from which the students arrive and leads to fruitful relationships between the countries.