Exclusive Interview with Mr. Dan Alluf, Counsellor MASHAV Agriculture, Embassy of ISRAEL, New Delhi.
07 May 2021, New Delhi, IN: Indo-Israel Agriculture Project (IIAP) was initiated in 2018 and has successfully complete three years with advancement in various areas of agriculture through its Center of Excellence (COE) located across the country.
The project aims to cover 23 States with 42 centers spread across India based on focus crops and agro-climatic condition. As on date there are 29 operational Center of Excellence (COE) across 13 states in India. Three new Centre of Excellence have been recently made operational in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Himachal Pradesh.
The centers have been successful in training about 1.57 lac farmers every year. The farmers are trained through demonstration of various technologies thereby adding value to the local farming community. Israeli agriculture solutions and best practices are implemented in these centers to show Indian farmers reliable and proven solutions.
All the centers are monitored through precision agriculture technology where satellite images of the fields are taken on weekly basis which helps the center to take decision on when and how much to irrigate. The center also trains and demonstrates the farmers on use of special type of fertilizers that are used for irrigation through drip lines (Fertigation).
To protect the crop loss of farmers due to insects and pests, the centers are working on demonstrating plant protection solutions to safeguard against major infestations such as nematodes and other soil borne disease. The centers have also introduced to new vegetable varieties from Israel which opens up new markets for the farmers.
Indo-Israel Villages of Excellence
Indo-Israel Villages of Excellence is a way forward to boost agriculture in Indian villages and to create an ecosystem with Israeli technology but tailored to Indian farming conditions. 75 Indian villages have been selected under 13 Centre of Excellence across 8 States.
The Villages of Excellence will work on developing three core areas across each village to strengthen agriculture viz. Infrastructure Development, Capacity Building and Market Linkage.
Infrastructure development will include water management practices to optimize irrigation, availability of agriculture machinery and implements for each farmer, nursery development for the availability of good quality planting material, managing timely availability of agriculture inputs that includes seeds, crop protection chemicals, fertilizers and packhouse for post-harvest processing of produce.
Capacity building will help the farmers to learn on how to utilize and make efficient use of the infrastructure available. The use of this infrastructure along with best practices in agriculture will help Indian farmers to achieve better quality produce and improve their yields.
Market linkage will be the third core area to strengthen agriculture in villages. Once the farmers are producing better quality produce and high yield, the retailers/markets can be identified and targeted to fulfill demand as per the requirement. Linking retailer and markets will help ensure farmers’ income.
Indo-Israel Villages of Excellence adds another layer to Indo-Israel Agriculture Project for intensifying and improvising agriculture practices in India. The Centre of Excellence around these 75 Villages of Excellence will provide support and empower farmers with latest technology and knowledge available.