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India has vision, we can do more together: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Ahmedabad on Wednesday morning and held a roadshow along with PM Modi.

India has vision, we can do more together: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Vadrad: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said farmers of Gujarat are reaping the benefits of technologies from his country. 

Describing India as a country with a vision, he said both the nations can do more if they work together.

Netanyahu was speaking at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Vegetables, set up at Vadrad village of Sabarkantha district in 2015 in collaboration with Israel. He was accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The most important thing is that farmers here are enjoying the benefits of the Israeli expertise, which is making their lives better and richer. This is what we are here for. To make your lives better," he said.

Netanyahu also praised PM Modi's leadership. "We have 20 Centres of Excellence and soon we will have 30 centres in India. We want to help India in helping itself. Because India has a vision. India has a leader who understands that knowledge is the future. Knowledge with purpose. This is the policy of Modi. This is my policy," he said, adding, "We can do more together and we will do."

The two PMs also inaugurated a new CoE for post harvest management of date palms at Kukma village near Bhuj town of Kutch district through remote control.

Before addressing a gathering, PM Modi and Netanyahu listened to some success stories from farmers as to how their yield and income saw a significant rise after acquiring technical know-how from the CoE at Vadrad.

In his address, PM Modi expressed confidence that his mission of doubling farmers' income by 2022 will be fulfilled with the help of Israeli technology.

"We want to double farmers' income by 2022. To increase their income, we have to increase the yield on the existing land held by farmers," he said.

PM Modi said the West Asian country has the expertise in judicious use of water for agriculture.

"We were of the habit of filling the entire field with water, thinking it is necessary for a better yield. But it was Israel which taught us how we can do farming with very less water... Through drip irrigation. Organic farming is also one of our focus areas," he said.

The visit to the CoE wrapped up the two leaders' day-long tour of Gujarat home state.

Netanyahu arrived in Ahmedabad on Wednesday morning and held a grand roadshow along with PM Modi before visiting the Sabarmati Ashram, the abode of Mahatma Gandhi for a long time.

In a four-line message jointly signed by him and his wife Sara in the visitor's log book at the ashram, the Israeli dignitaries said their "visit was inspiring".

"An inspiring visit to the hearth of one of humanity's great prophets of inspiration- Mahatma Gandhi," Netanyahu wrote in the book.

He and his wife spent around 20 minutes in the ashram premises, where they visited 'Hriday Kunj', the home of Mahatma Gandhi.

Netanyahu and PM Modi also tried their hands at the 'charkha', the hand spinning wheel which was emblematic of India's quest for self-reliance during the freedom struggle.

They also flew kites for a couple of minutes, as their visit comes just a few days after 'Uttarayana' (or Makar Sankranti), Gujarat's popular kite festival.

PM Modi and Netanyahu held the roadshow in Ahmedabad under a heavy security blanket as thousands of people lined up along the route to greet them.

After arriving in Gujarat, the two leaders, along with the Israeli PM's wife Sara, set out in a car from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport.

Around 50 stages were erected on the roadside along the stretch to showcase performances by troupes of different states to welcome the guests.

People carrying Indian and Israeli flags stood in large numbers on both sides of the tastefully decorated road.

Modi and Netanyahu waved at the people, who greeted them with loud cheers.

The roadshow concluded at Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram, after traversing 8 km.

(With PTI inputs)