Israel to help State boost agricultural produce

Last Updated 26 June 2012, 18:16 IST

 Israel has decided to open three ‘Centres of Excellence’ in the field of agriculture in Karnataka. The country also plans to open its second consulate in India, in Bangalore by October to attract tourists, especially from South India.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the Consul General for Israel in India, Orna Sagiv said the country was now targeting three major sectors in Karnataka – IT, agriculture and food processing.

 Infosys has already inked a knowledge pact with a Israeli chief scientist for providing inputs to start-up companies in Israel. Sagiv said the three centres were being set up to train farmers in three different products.

While one centre will be located in Kolar for mangoes, Belgaum will host the other for pomegranate crop.

The third centre of excellence will be set up at Bagalkot for teaching people on advanced techniques to grow vegetables. The centres will ensure that those trained by our personnel will pass on the information to the farmers to increase their yield with a little more investment, she said.

More flights

Following a tourism pact between India and Israel inked earlier this month, it is now likely that the Jewish state, will open its doors to private airlines with the hope of boosting its tourism industry.

“Currently, with only the Israeli official carrier, El Al, flying three times a week we hope to see more flights to Israel. Our Minister for Tourism is open to the idea of having private players (airlines) to fly to Tel Aviv,” she said.

The Consul General was hopeful that the Tourism Working Committee, formed to bolster the tourism industry will work on the proposal to allow private carriers from various other cities in India.

Sagiv said that Israel has already decided to open a tourism office in Mumbai and that the matter is currently in the approval stage. “We have also invested much on the tour operators by giving them ideas of making Israel an attractive package to Indian citizens,” she said.

According to Israeli statistics, 40,000 tourists and travellers, from each nation, visit India and Israel. “In fact, the biggest population of visitors coming to Israel are from India,” she said.

(Published 26 June 2012, 18:16 IST)

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