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CM Fadnavis welcomes Israeli PM to Mumbai, seeks help to ‘change the face of agriculture’

Israeli PM Netanyahu, who attended the India Israel Business Summit on Thursday, said his country also wishes to collaborate with ‘old friend India’

mumbai Updated: Jan 18, 2018 23:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Devendra Fadnavis,Israeli Prime Minister,Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and CM Devendra Fadnavis spoke at the India Israel Business Summit, held at Taj Mahal hotel in Apollo Bunder, on Thursday.(Surendra Gangan/HT Photo)

Israel, Maharashtra to work together for agri, industrial development

While chief minister Devendra Fadnavis sought Israel’s help to “change the face of agriculture in Maharashtra”, the state signed a memorandum of understanding with a company of their government to set up a water grid in Marathwada for mitigation of drought.

Speaking at the India-Israel Business Summit at a hotel in Mumbai with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahhu, Fadnavis also invited Israeli companies to invest in the state.

The MoU was signed between Maharashtra and Mekorot Development and Enterprises, subsidiary of National Water Company of the Israeli government. “The company will help the government mitigate water scarcity by studying the average rainfall, water conservation, recycling and desilting of water to achieve water neutrality. The company is responsible for 70% of potable water in Israel,” said a press statement by the government.

“With the help of technology and experience of Israeli players, ours will prove to be the best water grid. The Centre of Excellence set up by us in areas facing water scarcity in agriculture is all set to bring in a major change in the sector,” Fadnavis said.

The CM, while welcoming Netanyahu in Mumbai and praising Jews for their contribution in the development of the state, said on Thursday that Israeli technology and agricultural knowhow will help double the income of farmers in Maharashtra.

Fadnavis said he was impressed with the role played by technology in agricultural development in Israel, which he witnessed during his visit in 2015. “Maharashtra is a business leader state, with its highest contribution in national gross domestic product. In terms of foreign direct investment, 50% of the total investment in the country has come in Maharashtra alone. Our export accounts for 30% of the national export. In the near future, we look forward to a lot of Israeli businesses, in the field of technology and agriculture to join hands with us,” he said.

Fadnavis also praised the contribution of Jews to the culture, history and development of the state. Netanyahu said, “We are trying to develop Israel with the changing times and for that we wish to collaborate with our old friend India. We share a good relationship with India. With the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both the countries are all set to fight terrorism. This is the right time for development of both the countries. With the help of nine MoUs that we signed with the Indian government, we look forward to exchanges on various levels,” Netanyahu said.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 16:02 IST