23rd November, 2021, New Delhi
A 3-Member Delegation led by H.E. Shri Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel called on Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & DG (ICAR) here at Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi today.
The Delegation discussed the Indo-Israel Cooperation in the area of Agricultural R&D. India has a long-standing relationship with Israel. The famous Indo-Israel High-Tech Farm Demonstration Unit was established at ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi with its Foundation Stone laid by Hon’ble President of Israel on 31st December, 1996.
The Project demonstrated the peri-urban, high technology methods of growing flowers, vegetables and fruits with precision farming using latest techniques of greenhouse cultivation, net houses, fertigation, soil-less culture and open field crop production. The Project Cost was about 2.0 million US Dollars of which 60% was contributed by Israel and 40% by the Government of India. The Integrated Unit including green houses, nursery, open field cultivation, a modern packaging house and cold storage was built over an area of 10 ha.
This Project proved a nerved Centre for furthering the protected cultivation and later establishment of Centre of Excellence in the State of Haryana and others with the cooperation of the Israel Government. About 3,000 professionals were trained under this Project. The several Chief Ministers of Indian States, 27 Foreign Delegations and over 7 Lakh Farmers visited the Project. The Centre played a significant role in spreading the protected cultivation technology to over 0.23 Million ha area in the country.
Based on the past learnings and the significant innovations that had happened during the last 25 Years in protected cultivation technologies, the Israel Delegation mooted an idea of setting-up of an Indo-Israel Agri-Innovation Centre at the ICAR-IARI which shall work for developing the Agri-preneurs in protected cultivation besides, showcasing the agri-innovations in precision farming.
The Secretary (DARE) & DG (ICAR) reiterated India’s commitment of extending all cooperation with Israel for establishing such Centre. He desired to have frequent discussions with the experts of both sides to work out the technical and administrivia details of the Project.
The Additional Secretary (DARE) & Secretary (ICAR); DDG (Crop Sciences); ADG (International Relations); Director, ICAR-IARI and other Senior Officials from DARE/ICAR participated in the Meeting. From Israel side, Shri Yair Eshel, Agriculture Attache (MASHAV) and Shri Brihamadev, Project Officer (MASHAV) joined the Meeting.