Nearly 2,000 Indian farmers visited the 18th International Agricultural Exhibition, which concluded recently in Tel Aviv. They had come to learn of new technologies to increase crop yield.
The exhibition is held every three years.
“From Gujarat and Maharashtra alone, more than 1,200 farmers — 600 from each State — and approximately 40 from Tamil Nadu visited the fair,” said Sanyal Desai CEO, Radeecal Communications, one of the companies that represented India at the exhibition.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also attended the event.
The Tamil Nadu delegation was led by organic farming activist Thooran N. “Each of us spent Rs.1,05,000 from our own pocket to attend this exhibition. In Gujarat or Maharashtra, it was the government that sponsored the visit. No one from the government informed us. We got to know of this from some sources and then booked tickets through travel agents,” says Mr. Thooran.
He reckons that India is better and richer than Israel in natural resources like water.
“But in Israel, farmers have been able to succeed because the government supports them. It is fully aware that agriculture is the base of human development, and encourages its farmers.”
Thrifty water use
The delegation members all agree that the visit has made them more aware of the need for thrifty use of water and the importance of farmers’ co-operatives for marketing produce.
“Israel has been able to succeed in agriculture because it uses water sparingly and makes full use of solar energy. Both these have been a thing of contempt and neglect in our country,” says D. Palanisamy, a Coimbatore farmer.
Seek government support
The farmers feel that they can also work wonders, increasing yield or making optimum use of water. All they want is encouragement and motivation from the State government.
(This correspondent was a part of the media delegation that visited Israel recently.)
Keywords: International Agricultural Exhibition