New Delhi, Jan 28 : Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar has announced plans to convert 150 villages around the 'Centres of Excellence' into 'Villages of Excellence' with technical assistance from Israel.
The Centres of Excellence (CoEs), an example of cooperation between India and Israel, are producing more than 25 million vegetable plants, over 3,87,000 quality fruit plants and can train more than 1.2 lakh farmers per year. The Minister expressed satisfaction at the functioning of 29 Centres of Excellence in 12 states.
"Out of 150, half of them, i.e., 75 villages are being taken up in the first year to commemorate the 75th year of India's independence, where India and Israel will work together," Tomar said and expressed happiness on the completion of 30 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel.
Tomar was speaking when the newly appointed Israel Ambassador to India Naor Gilon called on the Agriculture Minister on Thursday, a release from the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
Tomar also highlighted the various schemes that have been launched by the Government of India for the welfare of farmers. Those included PM-Kisan, Agri-Infrastructure Fund (AIF), formation of 10,000 FPOs, Schemes for promotion of organic farming, natural farming, and soil health cards etc.
The Ambassador appreciated the working of Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) institutes and showed interest in further collaboration with ICAR and making available the latest technologies available with Israel. He proposed the certification of CoEs to further enhance the standards and quality of services being provided to the farmers, the release said.
Gilon also invited Tomar to visit Israel.