Agriculture Attaché MASHAV at the Embassy of Israel in India, Yair Eshel, called on ACS Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo and briefed him about the Indo-Israel Agriculture Project of establishing proposed CoE in J&K.
Agriculture Attaché MASHAV (Israel’s agency for international development cooperation) at the Embassy of Israel in India, Yair Eshel, called on Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo today and briefed him about the Indo-Israel Agriculture Project (IIAP) of establishing proposed Centers of Excellence (CoE) in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Project Officer MASHAV, Brihama Dev; Director, Agriculture Jammu, KK Sharma; Director, Agriculture Kashmir, Mohammad Iqbal Chowdhary; Director, Horticulture Jammu, Sevak Ram, Joint Directors, Inputs/Farms/ Mushroom/Apiculture and other concerned were also present during the occasion.
Briefing the ACS, the Agriculture Attaché, Eshel, informed that India and Israel have strategic cooperation on the government-to-government (G2G) level in the field of agriculture.
Eshel said the IIAP aims at introducing crop diversity, increasing productivity, and optimising water use efficiency, and added that the IIAP is being implemented via the establishment of Centers of Excellence (CoE), in which Israeli agri-technologies and knowledge are disseminated and tailored to local conditions.
Eshel added that the Israeli stakeholder, MASHAV will guide the standard of the CoE and transfer Israeli knowledge into the IIAP.
Eshel apprised the ACS Dulloo about his visit to three farms in the Jammu division, which include SM Farm Chinore, SM Farm Chakrohi and Burmal Farm Hiranagar.
Eshel also informed Dulloo that the region has the potential to produce vegetables and fruits by using modern technology, for which MSHAV is ready to extend guidance and support in the form of expertise and technical know-how to the farmers and the department alike.
Eshel informed that CoE is an advanced, intensive agriculture farm for knowledge transfer of Israeli agro-technology and the latest technology and aims to benefit farmers with a focus on selected key crops.
Each CoE will comprise nursery management, best practises cultivation techniques, irrigation, and fertigation, and also act as a meeting point for the academy, government and farmers to cooperate towards fruitful achievements.
Eshel said that MASHAV is leading the IIAP from the strategic and tactical aspects, providing professional leadership during the planning and executing phases and transferring knowledge and agro-technology.
Eshel added MASHAV is ready to establish two CoEs one each in Jammu and Kashmir divisions, for which a detailed project report will be prepared in consultation with the Agriculture Department.
Director of Agriculture, Jammu, Sharma informed that CoE would be established under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) scheme with authorizing, budgeting and monitoring the project while State/UT governments allocate staff, land and other budgets.
Speaking on the occasion, Dulloo said that J&K has some niche crops like apples, walnuts, saffron, etc where we can focus while seeking guidance from Israeli experts and make these crops export-worthy internationally.
Dulloo said J&K has extensive plans to develop the agriculture scene, for which it is seeking expertise and technological interventions to increase productivity and make the crops competitive at international markets.
The team has concluded its three-day visit to the Jammu division and is expected to visit Kashmir also to explore the establishment of CoE in the Kashmir valley.