India-Israel agriculture cooperation: The quiet revolution
Today Israeli innovation and technology is changing the way farmers in rural and interior India cultivate and harvest
Away from the glare of media attention, away from the limelight of jet-set diplomacy – a revolution is taking place. It offers no allure, no spectacular footage, but a revolution nevertheless. Today Israeli innovation and technology is changing the way farmers in rural and interior India cultivate and harvest.
To strengthen this co-operation, a high-level Israeli business delegation made up of top agriculture companies visited India in the week of March, 24-27, 2014. The “Food Security and Agriculture Delegation” attended a series of business events to promote India-Israel Agricultural Cooperation in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh and explore business opportunities in India.
Mr. Yonatan Ben-Zaken, Head of Israel’s Economic & Trade Mission, Embassy of Israel, New Delhi sees cooperation in agriculture as the most important pillar in India-Israel relationship. According to him, “by implementing Israeli technologies and know-how, the productivy and yield of a local farmer grow by 5-10 folds.” Furthermore, the “similarities of climatic conditions, makes Israeli cutting edge technologies the right choice for India.”
As part of a bilateral agreement (Comprehensive Work Plan for Cooperation in Agriculture, 2006) several Centres of Excellence (CoE) have been set up by the Israeli agency MASHAV (Center for International Cooperation, Israel’s Min. of Foreign Affairs) and CINADCO (Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation, Min. of Agriculture & Rural Development). They have been supported on the Indian side by the National Horticulture Mission, National Horticulture Board and respective State Horticulture Departments.
Going by present trends, vast potential for mutual cooperation and positive effect on local communities; in the long run agriculture is poised to be the single most significant and transformative factor in India-Israel relations.