Israel is seriously considering lending a helping hand to farmers in Rajasthan to boost their production using innovative technology provided by the West Asian country.
This was an overwhelming view that emerged from the first day of the Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet 2016 (GRAM 2016), which was opened by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on 9 November in Jaipur.
Speaking on how Israel can help Rajasthan in doubling farm incomes, Israel’s MASHAV agency deputy head Yuval Fuchs said:
Although Rajasthan is a leader in milk production in India (which in turn is a global leader in milk production), a cow here gives 5 to 7 litres of milk on average, but in Israel this comes to around 36 to 40 litres of milk! That’s five to six times more. Imagine if Rajasthan increases its productivity to that level.
MASHAV counsellor Dan Alluf spoke of his experience of three excellence centres that the agency has been operating in cooperation with the Rajasthan government.
About 70 per cent of the water that Israel uses for agriculture is actually recycled water, which it is looking to increase to 90 per cent in future. MASHAV understands that though conditions in India are quite different from Israel, the expertise they are bringing in can be successful, with the implementation being tailor made for India.
Alluf spoke about three segments of value chain that MASHAV is focusing on at its excellence centres. These include:
- Nursery management. Nurseries are high-tech and they provide high-quality seedlings to farmers which also generate income for the centres, making them self-reliant.
- Cultivation and canopy management where the idea is to encourage intensification which leads to more crops, better pest control and in turn better incomes.
- Better irrigation and fertilisation.
Rajasthan Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini thanked Fuchs and Alluf for being great friends of India and for Israel’s support.
Saini pointed out that Israel also consider supporting Rajasthan farmers in productivity enhancement, improving shelf life of harvested crops, quality, shape and size improvement and increasing the nutritional value of food crops. He also called for cooperation in tackling pests diseases in crops such as Nimotode, YUM, and white fly problem.
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