Israel and India have 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”.
With 29 operational Centres of Excellence (COEs) across India in 12 States, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare of India, and MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation – are leading Israel’s largest G2G cooperation, implementing Advanced-Intensive agriculture farms with Israeli Agro-Technology tailored to local conditions.
The Centres of Excellence provides the latest information, by demonstrating the best practices and gives training to the farmers. Every year, these COEs produce more than 25 million high-quality vegetable seedlings, more than 387 thousand quality fruit plants and train more than 1.2 lakh farmers about the latest technology in the field of horticulture.
Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, 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.
The minister further said that India and Israel have had bilateral relations since 1993 in the agricultural sector. “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 exchange of technology between India and Israel will greatly improve the productivity and quality of horticulture, thereby increasing the income of farmers”, he added.
Ambassador of Israel to India, Dr. Ron Malka said, “The three-year work program (2021-2023) reflects the strength of our growing partnership which will benefit local farmers both through the Centers of Excellence and the Villages of Excellence”.
The programme will seek to expand existing Centres of Excellence, create new centres, and bring them to self-sufficiency by encouraging private sector companies and cooperation.
As for the “INDO-ISRAEL Villages of Excellence”, the new concept is aimed at creating a model ecosystem in agriculture across 8 states, alongside the 13 other Centers of Excellence within 75 villages.
The program will increase the net income of the farmers and will transform traditional farms into modern-intensive farms. A large-scale and complete value chain approach will be followed with economic sustainability, embedded with Israeli novel technologies and methodologies tailored to local conditions. The program will focus on Modern Agriculture infrastructure, Capacity Building, and Market linkage, etc.
India announced its recognition of Israel in1950. Since the upgradation of relations in 1992, defence and agriculture formed the two main pillars of the bilateral engagement between both nations.
In recent years, relations have seen rapid growth across a broad spectrum of areas and the future vision of cooperation, also bilateral trade has diversified into several sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT and telecom, and homeland security.
Indian software companies, notably TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, and Wipro, have been expanding their presence in the Israeli market. Potash is a major item of Israel’s exports to India, with India buying a significant percentage of it. There is a growing preference for Israeli companies in sectors such as water technologies, homeland security, and real estate in addition to traditional areas such as agriculture, chemicals, etc in India. Teva Pharmaceuticals, IDE, Netafim, ADAMA, etc. are among the leading Israeli companies, which have notable investments in India.
India imports critical Defence technologies from Israel and there are regular exchanges between the armed forces.
In the face of COVID-19’s crucial threat, Israel and India have demonstrated their ability to work together in crisis situations, developing robust collaboration in areas such as defence equipment, medical kits, and diagnostic technologies during the pandemic.