Israel and India are boosting their agricultural ties once again: Israeli farming experts will soon travel to Gujarat, in western India, to teach Indian farmers how to optimize crop production.
According to reports in the Indian media, Jerusalem and New Delhi will oversee the joint formation of centers of excellence (CoE) in several locations in India.
“We are looking at a few more states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Punjab among others where we want to set up centers of excellence in agriculture technology,” Vani Rao, of the Indian Embassy in Tel Aviv, said.
“This Indo-Israel institute also has an exchange program, under which experts from Israel will come to Gujarat to guide farmers on sowing, cultivation, harvesting and post-harvesting processes,” he added.
Rao, who also visited Agritech Israel 2012, noted that agriculture makes up 17% of India’s GDP while more than 50% of the population is dependent on it.
“India needs to learn and improve on post-harvest management, cold storage technology, packaging and dairy products,” he said.
“In coming years, India will experience huge scarcity of water. The technology used in Israel on recycling sewage water for agriculture can help India save water as well as improve overall productivity.”
Itzhak Kiriati of the Israel Export Institute believes that there is huge potential for growth for the Israeli-Indian relations: “In September 2012, we are organizing Agritech Israel at Gandhinagar in association with the Gujarat government, in which we expect participation of farmers across the country,” he said.