India signs a three-year work program for cooperation in Agriculture with Israel

On 24th May 2021, India signed a three-year work program agreement with a vision for the development of Agriculture cooperation with Israel. “INDO-ISRAEL Agricultural Project Centres of Excellence” and “INDO-ISRAEL Villages of Excellence” are also implemented by India and Israel.

The work program aims to improve existing Centres of Excellence, build new centres, increase CoE’s value chain, bring the Centres of Excellence into the self-sufficient mode, and encourage private sector companies and collaboration.

This programme will help boost the bilateral relationships among both governments. Cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture will benefit the farming community. India and Israel have had bilateral relations since 1993 in the agricultural sector. It is the 5th IIAP(Indo-Israel Agriculture Action Plan).

India has 29 operational Centres of Excellence (COEs) across India in 12 States. Centres of excellence implement Advanced-Intensive agriculture farms with Israeli Agro-Technology suitable to local conditions.

The Centres of Excellence helps to impart knowledge, demonstrate best practices and train farmers. Every year, these COEs produce more than 25 million quality vegetable seedlings, more than 387 thousand quality fruit plants and train more than 1.2 lakh farmers regarding the latest technology in horticulture.

INDO-ISRAEL Villages of Excellence(IIVOE) aims at creating a model ecosystem in agriculture across eight states, alongside 13 Centers of Excellence within 75 villages. It has the vision to incorporate a large-scale and complete value chain approach based on the principles of Israeli novel technologies and methodologies dissemination of the CoE’s, tailored to local conditions. IIVOE will focus on Modern Agriculture infrastructure, Capacity Building, Market linkage.

“So far, we have successfully completed 4 action plans. This new work programme will further strengthen the bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture for the benefit of the farming community. The COEs established under these Israeli-based action plans are playing an important role in doubling farmers’ income. The exchange of technology between India and Israel will greatly improve the productivity and quality of horticulture, thereby increasing the income of farmers” were the words of Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare said, “These Centers of Excellence established under Indo-Israel Agriculture Action Plan (IIAP) have become epicentres of transformation in the horticulture sector. Our focus during the new work programme will be to convert the villages surrounding these COEs into Villages of Excellence through massive outreach programmes”.

Ambassador Dr Ron Malka said, “The three-year work program (2021-2023) reflects the strength of our growing partnership and will benefit local farmers both through the Centers of Excellence and the Villages of Excellence”.

The work program signing ceremony was also attended by Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Parshottam Rupala and Shri Kailash Choudhary along with Senior officers of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India.