Israeli Agricultural Technology to Gain Greater Access to India Farmers Through Centers of Excellence; 8 to Open in 2013, 29 by 2015
Israeli agricultural technology will gain greater access to farmers in India through a project to create “Centers of Excellence” in the vast country, India’s Economic Times reported citing comments made by Israeli Ambassador to India Alon Ushpiz to PTI.
Ambassador Ushpiz said two centers have been opened in Haryana and “another 6-8 centers are at various stages of development in Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka.”
“They will be inaugurated by end of this year,” Ushpiz told PTI, and a total of 29 centers are expected to open by 2015. The objective behind the Centers of Excellence program is to demonstrate Israeli agricultural technology and teach know-how to farmers, he said.
The Centers of Excellence are a result of the Agriculture Cooperation Agreement signed between the two countries in 2008, and the three-year work plan finalized between the Agriculture Ministries of India and Israel in 2011, the Economic Times said, adding that the agreement may now be enlarged to include the dairy sector.
Ushpiz said Israel, which is known for its expertise in the dairy industry, is keen to collaborate with the Indian dairy sector to boost milk production.
“We are interested in dairy sector. We have expertise in raising milk productivity in extreme temperatures and limited water resources,” the ambassador was quoted as saying.
Although India is the world’s largest milk producer, the per capita milk output is the lowest in the world. An Israeli cow yields an average 12,000 liters of milk per year, four times greater than the 3,000 liters reported in India.
India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after Russia, according to Wikipedia. As of 2009, the military business between the two nations was worth around US$9 billion, up from just $200 million in 2001.
Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to joint military training and space technology. India accounts for almost fifty percent of Israeli defense equipment sales, according to Wikipedia.