New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Sunday
underlined the importance of enhanced cooperation between
Israel and India in the fields of water management and high
Talking to PTI on the eve of his goodwill visit to
Israel, Gadkari said the scarcity of irrigation facilities is
a serious challenge to food production in India, where 700
million people are dependent
He said India and Israel signed a MoU in the field of
agriculture in 2008, paving the way for setting up of six
excellence centres covering production of vegetables and fruit
using ultra-modern technologies in Haryana and Maharashtra and
new projects for the use of saline water and drip irrigation
in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The growing agricultural cooperation between India and
Israel, the BJP President said, underlines the mutual capacity
to develop, absorb and implement state-of-the-art innovation
which will increase production levels at appreciably lower
cost to the farmer and the consumer.
Cooperation with Indian firms also facilitates Israel`s
entry into the Indian market and enhances Israel`s access to
other south Asian markets, he pointed out.
He said that the two countries were at an advanced stage
of concluding a formal free trade agreement for a two-way
arrangement that would give Indian industries access to the
Israeli high technology sector and Israel access to Indian
"This is a step ahead of the Preferential Trade Agreement
(PTA) that a Joint Study Group (JSG) set up by the two
countries had recommended to improve trade ties. It is
estimated that bilateral trade would exceed USD 12 billion in
5 years with this trade agreement," Gadkari said.
The current areas that need to be given focus are
software, communication, homeland security, science and
medicine, bio and agro-technologies, water and tourism and
Israel`s water technology, the BJP president said.