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News updated at 2:49 AM IST

Indo-Israel vegetable centre set up in Haryana

Last updated: 13 January, 2011
New Delhi, Jan 13, (IANS): 12:51 IST

Continuing the cooperation between India and Israel in the field of agriculture, the first Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for vegetables will be inaugurated in Haryana's Gharaunda town next week.

The vegetables centre project, under which both the countries will share technology and undertake protected cultivation of various vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicum, has been set up at Gharaunda town in Karnal district, 145 km from the state capital Chandigarh.

The objective behind the Centre of Excellence is to provide live demonstration of Israeli agricultural technology and know-how to the farmers of Haryana, a spokesperson of the Israeli embassy added.

"In these protected structures, farmers will be able to grow any vegetable even in extreme weather conditions," Avri Bar Zur, counsellor (international cooperation-science and agriculture), said in a statement.

"Due to its proximity to Delhi, Haryana has a ready market for such produce and farmers can greatly benefit from their healthy yield of off-season vegetables." Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Israeli Ambassador Mark Sofer and Chaim Choshen, director of the South Asia department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel will be present at the centre's inauguration.

India is now the second top export destination for Israel, next only to the US. Bilateral trade has grown manifold from $80 million in 1991 to about $5 billion in 2010. Navtej Sarna, India’s ambassador to Israel, said recently that "India-Israel relations continue to develop strongly in several areas, including agriculture, trade, water resources and cutting-edge technologies".

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