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Vast scope for India-Israel co-operation in agriculture: Pawar

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) Union Agriculture and food Minister Sharad Pawar stressed that India and Israel should co-operate in the field of agriculture for increasing production and improving technology.

To leverage the strength and potential of Indian agriculture, the emphasis is now on demand driven research, diversification to higher value crops and increasing productivity in dry-land areas through judicious use of micro-irrigation, Mr Pawar said while speaking at a Seminar ''Israel-India Business Forum'' under Agri-tech-2006 at Israel Trade Fair and Convention Center, Tel Aviv yesterday.

The stake holders of both the countries should join hands to make this opportunity a real success, he added.

India and Israel had concluded an inter-governmental agreement for co-operation in the field of agriculture and allied activities in 1993, which provides for cooperation in water and soil management, arid and semi-arid crop production, fruit and vegetable production, animal science, plant protection, agricultural research and agro forestry.

Under this an inter-organisational agreement for implementation of R&D Demonstration Farm Project at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi was executed between IARI and MASHAV Israel.

A Drip Irrigation Demo Project was also launched in Kuppum region of Chittoor District with the help of an Israeli company and in collaboration with BHC Agro (India) Ltd.

With the signing of a Work Plan with Israel under agri-tech, a road map has been laid on the course of action in the next two years. The Work Plan provides for collaborative research in fertigation, soil less culture for growing high value horticulture crops, co-operation in development and evaluation of energy efficient greenhouse structures for semi-arid tropical climates, studies on recycling of domestic wastewater for irrigation, post harvest management and value addition for agricultural and dairy products and collaboration in exchange of genetic material for scientific and commercial purpose, the Minister pointed out.

Mr Pawar informed that India has a huge potential to increase agriculture production by upgrading technology and investment in specific areas. With diverse agro-climatic regions favourable for cultivation of important crops and a vast pool of skilled manpower in research and extension, India has a big production advantage in agriculture; the Minister added.

The seminar was jointly organised by Israel Asia Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry along with the Israel Agritech-2006, a press release here today said. UNI BBS ARB DB2000

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