Sushil Manav, Tribune News Service
Mangiana (Sirsa), May 21. Israel will run two training courses every year for progressive farmers from Haryana. In these courses, the farmers will learn modern techniques for increasing their income from farming.
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Ambassador of Israel in India Alon Ushpiz announced this after inaugurating the Centre of Excellence for Fruits, an Indo-Israel project, at Mangiana, about 60 km from Sirsa town.
“In the present times, when landholdings are becoming smaller and water is becoming scarce, adoption of the latest technology is the only way to survive for our farmers,” Hooda said addressing farmers after the inauguration of the project. He said that he had been to Israel and had seen how farmers in that country had been making handsome earnings from small landholdings by taking to newer techniques in horticulture.
He said that it was due to these techniques that Israeli farmers have been supplying fruits to the whole of Europe despite living in a country as small as the state of Haryana.
“Israel and Haryana have several similarities in climate and soil conditions. There is an acute shortage of irrigation water in Israel, but farmers there are getting four to five times more production by adopting the most modern technology of irrigation and cultivation,” said Hooda.
The Chief Minister said that keeping this in mind, the Government of India approved two centres of excellence – one for vegetables and the other for fruits in Haryana at a cost of Rs 15.7 crore. The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables is already functional at Gharaunda in Karnal while the Centre of Excellence for Fruits was launched today in Mangiana.
Set up on 78 acres at a cost of Rs 9.7 crore, the Centre of Excellence for Fruits will endeavour to develop sub-tropical fruit cultivation and industry in Haryana.
The major interventions of the Centre of Excellence for Fruits will be the introduction of improved cultivars and new crops for citrus, olives, dates, pomegranates and guava.
The centre will also work towards the demonstration of modern production technologies, post-harvest management technologies and quality management. It will also take steps to develop human resources and capacity building.
Israel’s Ambassador in India Alon Ushpiz was all praise for Haryana and its people.
He said that whenever he visited Haryana, he felt like visiting his own country and when he talked to farmers in Haryana, he had the feeling as if he was talking to his countrymen.
“Like the farmers in my country, peasants in Haryana are hardworking and dedicated. They never surrender to the challenges of nature,” Ushpiz said.
The Israeli Ambassador ended his speech by reading two lines of thanks in Hindi and said he had taken to learning this language now.
Daniel Carmon, Head of MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, said that the cooperation between Israel and Haryana in the field of agriculture was flourishing.
Carmon said that a minister from Africa visited a centre in Haryana and then approached him with a request that she wanted such a centre replicated in Africa.
Haryana Agriculture Minister Paramvir Singh said that the National Horticulture Mission was being implemented effectively in the state and subsidies from 25 to 100 per cent were being given to farmers.
Sirsa MP Ashok Tanwar, Haryana Minister of State for Agriculture Sukhbir Kataria and Chief Minister’s OSD (Media) KV Singh, who contested last the Assembly election from Dabwali Assembly seat under which Mangiana falls, also addressed the gathering.
Omar Zeidan, head, Centre of International Agriculture Development Cooperation (CINADCO), Israel, CPS Prahlad Singh Gillankhera and former minister Ranjit Singh were among those present on the occasion.