Indo-Israel Agricultural Project & Odisha

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that there is an urgent need for solving the migrant crisis and think of sustainable & strategic approaches to make Odisha self-dependent agriculturally in the post COVID world. Agriculture is the most important sector for Odisha

both in terms of GDP (27%) and involvement of working population (61.8%). Despite having abundance of natural resources & hardworking labour force, Odisha remains a backward state. As many as 20-25 lakh Odias go out of Odisha in search of employment and livelihood. Making agriculture a lucrative sector with scope of growth and creation of entrepreneurs by providing handholding support, development of skills & introduction to modern technologies in agriculture is the need of the hour.

The Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project (IIAP) is a bilateral partnership established in 2006 between Israel and Indian governments for strategic partnership in the field of agriculture.

IIAP aims to establish various Centres of Excellence (CoE) in various Indian states with the objective to provide a platform for a rapid transfer of technology to the Indian farmers.

The Centers of Excellence will constitute the main platform and act as the backbone for capacity building, transfer of technologies, demonstration, and dissemination of know-how in their respective clusters for greater participation of farmers to:

  • Increase crop productivity

  • Introduce crop diversity for improved income

  • Adopt advanced cultivation techniques to optimising water and input usage for a sustainable environment

  • Improve the quality of produce through processing & value addition

  • Teach farmers to market together to effectively use digital platforms & sell farm produce to large retailers & traders

About 34 COEs established in states like Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana etc.have shown more than 500% increase in crop yield with almost 100% increase in farmer profitability with 4-5 times decreased use of pesticides & fertilizers. While such centre of Excellences are present uniformly all over India, such Centres are absent in the economically weaker states of Odisha, Chattisgarh, West Bengal & Northeastern states which can actually benefit more from technology, incubation & exposure to better methods.

India & Israel have recently signed an agreement for establishing 13 Indo-Israel Agricultural Project Centres of Excellence and 75 Indo-Israel Villages of Excellence in a 3 year period of 2021-23.

Establishment of Centres of excellence and Villages of excellence under Indo-Israel project in Odisha would act as a catalyst in promoting modern, technology backed agriculture & allied sector for increasing farmer profitability while ensuring environmental sustainability. With assistance from Israel, the farmers

can be provided solutions to address gaps in current agricultural practices via implementation of Israeli technology and know-how tailored to local conditions. The district of Ganjam which has the right combination of enterprising farmers,hardworking labour force (currently working outside Odisha as migrants), fertile soil,

ideal Agro-climatic conditions for intensive horticultural practices & is at the bisection of large cities like Bhubaneswar & Vishakhapatnam can be thought of as an ideal location for establishment of Centres of excellence and Villages of excellence under Indo-Israel project in Odisha. Any step taken in this regard will go a long way in changing the landscape of Agri & allied sector of Ganjam in particular & Odisha in general.

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