Whether the land is fertile or barren, whether it is Tamil Nadu’s watershed area or Rajasthan’s dessert area, Israel Come forward all the time to take initiative. Indo – Israel agricultural project helped the Indian farmers at large. On Wednesday, 23rd agriculture center of excellence inaugurated at Mizoram in collaboration with Israel government. The Northeast India has always been discriminated in all developmental projects. The initiative to start agriculture center at Mizoram will wipe the previous persona and will help the government to defeat developmental challenges there. The agricultural center at Mizoram is the first such center of excellence established in Northeast India and it is biggest sign of successful partnership of both the nations. The Honorable Chief Minister of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla and Israel’s Ambassador Danial Carmon jointly chaired the inaugural ceremony. The event took place in Lunglei district of south Mizoram. “We will reform our land with a strong conviction of honesty, diligence and faithfulness” CM said in his inaugural speech. “We along with the Indian government are planning to spread to other states in the region, but as of now the Mizoram center will be catering to the northeast region as a whole,” said Dan Alluf, Agriculture Counselor of Agriculture at MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation). Alluf also added that MASHAV’s biggest agricultural projects are in India, and the nation has been at the focus of their work.
Advancement of Indo – Israel Agricultural Projects
Israel has greatly helped India when it comes to agriculture. The bond between the two countries strengthened with number of cooperation treaties and bilateral agreements. Agriculture is core subject of most of the agreements. India – Israel Agricultural Project is one of them. India – Israel Agricultural Project initiated in 2006, as a result of agreement signed between two nations. Within this framework, the State of Israel owed to contribute India in agriculture sector. Israel promised to educate Indian farmers with new technologies related to agriculture. MASHAV, which is Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation provides capacity building through professional training program. To achieve the goals of the cooperation agreement, MASHAV conducting professional training program both in India and Israel. “Agricultural Centers of Excellence” (CoE), is sole product of these cooperation treaties. There are total 23 centers present in India including the just inaugurated Mizoram. All these centers are funded by both the Federal Government NHM and by individual State Governments.
Agricultural Center of Excellence
The Centers of Excellence provides a suitable platform to Indian farmers to rapid transfer of technology. The center’s established by MASHAV promotes the new technologies and helps to spread the knowledge among farmers about new techniques regarding farming. Protected cultivation, drip irrigation and fertigation, canopy management, nursery production, Integrated Pest Management technologies are the one which demonstrated at the centers and later adopted by the farmers to increase their agricultural growth and income. The Centers of Excellence target both small and large farmers, thus offering a wide range of agricultural practices in order to enable all to benefit from the new technologies. They addresses both small and large farm holders thus offering a wide range of agricultural practices – from Hi-Tech poly-houses to walking tunnels and net houses, to enable all to benefit from the new technologies. During the establishment and operation of those Centers, the technologies and methods are adapted to the local conditions and requirements of the farmers. Till now there were total 22 centers are active in 16 different states. The center at Mizoram will be the 23rd.
North East India’s first Centre of Excellence inaugurated at Mizoram
This is the first such center in the north east India that is being established with Israeli collaboration. The economic budget of this center is approximately Rs. 8 crore to Rs 10 Crore. The center at Mizoram is basically processing of citrus fruits. The project has been set up with the tripartite collaboration of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Government of Israel and State government of Mizoram. Israel is providing expertise knowledge and professional support. Though located in Mizoram, this center is catering to the whole northeast region.
Result of Previous Successful Projects
Over the years, since 2006, initiatives of Indo Israel projects helped farmers from varies regions and states. The major contribution of initiative is protected cultivation. Farming of vegetables with protected cultivation method became very routine in rural India is biggest sign of success of the initiative. In Haryana, use of Israeli techniques helped farmers to grow high yields of tomato, capsicum and cucumber. In state of Tamil Nadu, use of plastic mulching boosted the fields of tomato farms by four times. Before the use of plastic mulching technique, 15 to 17 tons tomato grow in an acre. Use of Israeli technique increased the quantity up to 54 tons per acre. In state of Maharashtra, the experiment had taken to combine Israeli mango varieties with local varieties. This resulted in reduction of height of mango trees from 40 feet to 15 feet.
Long Way to Go Along…
Apart from agriculture, India and Israel are working jointly on number of issues and varies different problems. Water recycling is the one among them. There is three year joint agriculture project signed between both the nations. “We want to introduce more post-harvest solutions, increase pollination techniques that can make changes in protected cultivation, improve irrigation practices, introduce recycled water usage and extend the shelf life of agricultural products” Mr. Alluf, Counselor of Agriculture at MASHAV, said. As Israel is India’s closest friend and companion to develop agricultural technologies, there is a long way to go ahead.