Sept. 27, 2019
Israel Shares Best Practices with Indian Farmers – Syed Saad Ahmed (Outlook-India)
Dan Alluf is an agricultural counsellor in India for Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV). Centers of Excellence (CoE) are being set up across the country to share best practices and train Indian farmers. There are 28 centers in 12 states.
Alluf said, “We try to figure out the farmers’ and markets’ needs and develop solutions accordingly….[For example,] in Israel, we have developed a special kind of packaging which extends the shelf life of pomegranates by three months. This is a game-changer – it gives a three-month window to the farmer to sell when prices are at their highest.”
“We try to protect and promote the bugs that pollinate flowers. To fight pests, we try to introduce insects that control their population rather than spraying insecticides. It is a win-win – farmers reduce their costs and customers get produce with less pesticide residues.”
“In Israel, we are using the bombus bee, which is like a bumble bee. We have ‘domesticated’ it by putting up special hives for it in greenhouses. It pollinates all kinds of flowers and does not sting, so farmers can work peacefully.”
In Bhuj, Gujarat, farmer Ishwar Pindoria “diligently implemented the lessons learned in the training and after one year, not only did he have premium quality dates, but for the first time, he also exported his produce to Germany.”
“In 2018, we trained 147,000 farmers in India.”