If Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is to be believed, experts from Israel will soon be reaching drought-prone areas of Yavatmal and Osmanabad to help the state government find solutions that will lift farmers out of the agriculture crisis they are mired in.
In his meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netyanahu on Wednesday, Fadnavis is said to have been promised support on projects of agriculture, technology, security and the ‘smart cities’ in India.
Fadnavis, who also met former president of Israel Shimon Peres at the Peres Centre for Peace on the third day of his four-day visit to Israel, requested him to initiate collaborations in agriculture. “The situation in Maharashtra is grave and we need help to deal with the rising number of farmer suicide cases in the drought-prone areas of Maharashtra, especially Yavatmal and Osmanabad,” Fadnavis told Peres, citing the successful agriculture projects that have been undertaken in Israel.
Peres told Fadnavis the formula for Israel’s successful agriculture model includes farmers who experiment. “They don’t adhere to old traditions and are ready to accept new things. The farmer in Maharashtra can excel too if he accepts new technology easily. Israel doesn’t have oil like Iran but has a higher growth rate and this is due to development in agriculture and research,” Peres said during the meeting.
Meanwhile, agriculture officials from the state met representatives of Jethro and Demeter, agriculture expert groups, who have agreed to send their teams to the drought hit areas. The group will be studying the problems of the farmers, finding out the root cause and find solutions and suggest technologies to support the same.