Meghalaya inks three agreements with Israel

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Shillong, Nov 13 (UNI) The Meghalaya government has signed three agreements with the Israeli government for development of agriculture, horticulture, food processing and rainwater harvesting in the state, a state government official said here today.

The agreements were inked during the recent visit of a high-level state delegation, led by Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, to Israel, State chief secretary Ranjan Chatterjee said.

The state government signed a MoU with the Messilat Zion for packaging of yoghurt fruit and muesli. As Meghalaya was renowned for producing the best pineapples in the country, the state would benefit a lot from the project, Mr Chatterjee told UNI.

''Israeli authorities were keen on sharing their expertise on agriculture with Meghalaya,'' he informed.

The second agreement, reached at between Israel and the Indian Chamber of Commerce, was in the field of post-harvest management, food processing, storage, packaging and marketing, as well as a pilot plan for frozen vegetables.

Under the proposed project, the chief secretary said high-yielding varieties of fruits, vegetables, rice and other crops would be taken up.

He said the Israeli Chamber of Commerce would look for international funding, besides support from the Israeli government.

The third agreement was signed with the Centre for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CIADC) of the Israeli Agriculture Ministry for technical collaboration in rainwater harvesting in Sohra (Cherrapunjee) and Mawsynram, which receive the highest rainfall in the world.

The official said, the CIADC would provide sustained education on rainwater harvesting and creation of structures for it, besides pilot projects for regenerating forest cover in barren land.

The chief secretary said modalities for implementation of the projects would be worked out within six months and further information between the Israeli firms and state government would be exchanged before starting the projects.

The Israeli government had also evinced keen interest in boosting the tourism sector in Meghalaya by making it famous as one of the tourist destinations in India for Israeli tourists.

UNI

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