As India and Israel near completion of 30 years of full diplomatic relations, the 30th Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence was inaugurated on Sunday in Haryana's Bhiwani.
Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon, jointly with Haryana Agriculture Minister Jai Parkash Dalal and Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel, inaugurated the centre in Gignow in the district.
Established as part of the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project, this Centre is dedicated to semi-arid horticultural crops.
Israel, known for "making the desert bloom", is a pioneer in developing sustainable technologies and solutions for all agricultural sectors in knowledge transfer. These centres provide a suitable platform for a rapid transfer of technology to Indian farmers as new agricultural technologies like protected cultivation, drip irrigation, and fertigation are demonstrated here. The methods and technologies are adapted to the local conditions and requirements of the Indian farmers, with the intent of significantly increasing their income.
On the occasion, the Ambassador said: "This is a significant milestone in the agricultural cooperation between Israel and India. It is very special as this is the 30th Centre of Excellence inaugurated as our countries are nearing the completion of 30 years of full diplomatic relations. With this inauguration, we now have 30 fully-active Centres of Excellence in different states across India. More such centres are in the pipeline. These centres are increasing farmers' yield and productivity while diversifying local crops and improving the quality of produce."
Talking to IANS, Gilon said: "We have wonderful relationship between two countries and the agriculture has been one of the important basis for the excellent relations."
About the Centres of Excellence, he said: "What we do at the these centres is that we take Israeli technology and make it accessible to the Indian farmers. With the help of the government, it is subsidised later making more accessible leading the farmers to increase their income significantly."
The establishment of the centres has been possible with the coordinated efforts of the Indian government, state governments and MASHAV - Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Every year, these centres across the country produce more than 40 million premium quality vegetable seedlings, over 500,000 high-quality fruit plants, and train more than 120,000 Indian farmers.
The Ambassador also told IANS that there is also possibility that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may visit India this year.
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