India can benefit from Israeli techniques in horticulture: Expert
The delegation from India at the programme

Jerusalem: Pushing ahead on the agenda to take Indo-Israel cooperation in the field of agriculture to the “next level”, a third major delegation of 19 agricultural officers drawn from seven different states in India have concluded a two weeks training programme on horticulture management.

The programme “Horticulture Management: The Israeli Value Chain” was organised by Mashav Agricultural Training Centre (MATC) in Shefayim and the course focused on the possibility of replicating the “Israeli value chain”.

MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation working with the Foreign Ministry, looks at providing developing countries with the best of Israel’s experience in development and planning and has served as an important arm of the ministry’s diplomatic outreach programme.

The delegation visited several Israeli nurseries to explore the potential to import the planting materials of Israeli varieties suitable for India in the field of horticulture. Field visits to various orchards, vegetable farms, pack houses and others formed an important component of the management course. Local experts gave lectures and made presentations on horticulture outlining relevant activities based on Israeli know-how.

“Our partnership with Israel has been consistently deepening and this visit has been helpful in many ways. We got to learn fruit nurseries protocol, canopy management of orchards, post-harvest management of produce to reduce losses, productivity enhancement which can all help improve farmers’ earnings”, Dr Manoj Kumar Kundu, Joint Director of Horticulture to Haryana Government, told PTI.

“Israel is a leader in drip irrigation with fertigation techniques, and local methods in use here can play an important role in improving per unit yield leading to availability of more fruits for our population”, Kundu added.

Pointing out the understanding between the two governments on developing 75 Villages of Excellence, the Haryana government officer said that 75 more have already been identified to take the number to 150 and the government has committed to create 1500 villages of excellence by 2025.

Most of the villages are coming around the Centres of Excellence set up with Israeli agricultural technology. The nearby villages are being promoted to adopt the techniques being taught in these centres.

Some 29 Centres of Excellence across several states are already operational and another 13 are in the developmental phase, Dr Kundu pointed out.

The delegation also participated in the 31st Annual Agro-Mashov International Exhibition for Agri-business at the International Convention Centre in Jerusalem on September 6 as part of the two weeks programme. The programme started on September 4 and concluded on September 17.

“Avocado and pomegranate farming in Israel, that has attracted a lot of attention worldwide, also caught special attention of the visitors”, Yair Eshel, Agricultural Counsellor at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, accompanying the delegation told PTI.

It is noteworthy that eighteen agricultural officers from seven different states of India, engaged with Indo-Israel Centres of Excellence, had earlier visited Israel in April to attend a fifteen day study programme to learn about new approaches and technologies in the sector that can add more value to the farmers.

The agricultural officers from Indo-Israel Centers of Excellence (CoE) then took part in an extensive state course, Managing Centres of Excellence: Developing value for farmers , also organised by Mashav Agricultural Training Centre (MATC).

Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, also visited Israel in May and spoke about taking Indo-Israel cooperation in the field of agriculture to the “next level”, highlighting the understanding on developing Villages of Excellence. 

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