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India and Israel sign three-year work program for cooperation in agriculture

24/05/2021 at 9:44 PM

New Delhi, May 23: Taking forward the ever-growing partnership in agriculture between Israel and India, the two governments have agreed to enhance their cooperation in agriculture and signed a three-year work program agreement for development in Agriculture cooperation, while affirming the ever-growing bilateral partnership and recognizing the centrality of agriculture and water sectors in the bilateral relationship.

India and Israel are implementing the “INDO-ISRAEL Agricultural Project Centres of Excellence” and “INDO-ISRAEL Villages of Excellence”.

MIDH, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India, and MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation – are leading Israel’s largest G2G cooperation, with 29 operational Centres of Excellence (COEs) across India in 12 States, implementing Advanced-Intensive agriculture farms with Israeli Agro-Technology tailored to local conditions. The Centres of Excellence generate knowledge, demonstrate best practices and train farmers. Every year, these COEs produce more than 25 million quality vegetable seedlings, more than 387 thousand quality fruit plants and train more than 1.2 lakh farmers about latest technology in the field of horticulture.

Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said that the agriculture sector always remains a priority for India. Due to the agrarian policies of the Government of India, there is a definite change in the lives of the farmers and the agriculture sector. Increasing the farmers’ income is the determination of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The minister said that India and Israel have had bilateral relations since 1993 in the agricultural sector. This is the 5th IIAP. “So far, we have successfully completed 4 action plans. This new work programme will further strengthen the bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture for the benefit of the farming community. The COEs established under these Israeli-based action plans are playing an important role in doubling farmers’ income. The exchange of technology between India and Israel will greatly improve the productivity and quality of horticulture, thereby increasing the income of farmers”, he added.

Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare said, “These Centers of Excellence established under Indo-Israel Agriculture Action Plan (IIAP) have become epicentres of transformation in horticulture sector. Our focus during the new work programme will be to convert the villages surrounding these COEs into Villages of Excellence through massive outreach programmes”.

Ambassador Dr. Ron Malka said, “The three-year work program (2021-2023) reflects the strength of our growing partnership and will benefit local farmers both through the Centers of Excellence and the Villages of Excellence”.

The work program will aim to grow existing Centres of Excellence, establish new centers, increase CoE’s value chain, bring the Centres of Excellence into the self-sufficient mode, and encourage private sector companies and collaboration.

As for the “INDO-ISRAEL Villages of Excellence”, this is a new concept aimed at creating a model ecosystem in agriculture across eight states, alongside 13 Centers of Excellence within 75 villages. The program will promote the increase of net income and better the livelihood of the individual farmer, transforming traditional farms into modern-intensive farms based on IIAP standards. Large-scale and complete value chain approach with economic sustainability, embedded with Israeli novel technologies and methodologies will be tailored to local conditions. The IIVOE program will focus on: (1) Modern Agriculture infrastructure, (2) Capacity Building, (3) Market linkage.

The work program signing ceremony was also attended by Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary along with Senior officers of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India.

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