India Israel Cooperation in Agriculture

For a country like Israel where 60% of the area is desert, exporting high-value farm produce like mangoes and avocados is a matter of pride, whereas for India, among the largest food producers globally, the challenge is to counter the effects of erratic rainfall, raise productivity and use water efficiently.

For a country like Israel where 60% of the area is desert, exporting high-value farm produce like mangoes and avocados is a matter of pride, whereas for India, among the largest food producers globally, the challenge is to counter the effects of erratic rainfall, raise productivity and use water efficiently. Aiming to strengthen partnership in the farm sector, India and Israel in 2018 said they are working on a five-year plan for cooperation in agriculture and water. A three-year joint program (2018-20) has already commenced, under which the Centers of Excellence (COEs) are being set up across the country to train farmers about Israeli farm and water technologies. The project is named as Indo Israel Agricultural Project. 29 CoE centers are defined, 6 are fully active, 3 CoE will be inaugurated in the next two months, and the rest (23 CoE) are under different stages of establishment. Indo-Israel Agricultural Project's main Goals are: 1. Increasing crop diversity 2. Increasing productivity 3. Increasing resources use efficiency The Federal and state Indian stakeholders lead the partnership by defining the key crops and sanctioning the activity, the Israeli stakeholder, MASHAV, is guiding the standard of the CoE and transferring the knowledge into the IIAP. A well established leader in water management, desalination and recycling techniques, Israel has set a template for reusing wastewater for irrigation. It treats 80 per cent of its domestic wastewater, which is recycled for agricultural use and constitutes nearly 50 per cent of the total water used for agriculture. India has praised Israel for it excellent water management system. Presently, there is a large-scale project of drip irrigation, the Ramthal Marol project, going on in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. This project is being implemented by Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited with the assistance of Israeli agro-business firm, Netafim. Two decades before Karnataka, it was the state of Andhra Pradesh that was hailing Israeli technology in agriculture. The Kuppam project of 1998 sought to demonstrate the Israeli model using drip irrigation for local farmers, much like the ongoing Bagalkot project. As a result it could be said that Israel Farm technologies are proving good for Indian agricultural sector.

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