Jerusalem, Jun 28 (PTI) Gujarat and Israel will set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) to boost cooperation in the field of agriculture and horticulture, officials said here today. Also Read - Highlights IND vs AUS 4th Test Day 3 Gabba, Brisbane Today's Match AS IT HAPPENED: Washington Sundar-Shardul Thakur Lead India Comeback; Australia Lead by 54 Runs

The proposal to constitute the JWG was put forward by Israeli Minister for Agriculture, Uri Ariel, during his meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani yesterday. Also Read - Planning a Trip to Singapore During COVID-19? Now, PCR Test Mandatory on Arrival

The JWG will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Sanjay Prasad, Rupani announced after the meeting. Also Read - Farmers Can Ask For What They Want Except Repeal of Farm Laws: Agriculture Minister

Israel can play a very proactive role in introducing technological advancements in the field of agriculture and horticulture such as precision farming, digital Agriculture, optimum usage of water, fertiliser and other inputs to Agriculture, the Chief Minister said.

Noting that Gujarat has “always been at the forefront in introducing innovative measures in agriculture and horticulture”, Ariel said, “I am very confident that the success in Gujarat would pave the way for other states to follow the same model and make the country (India) prosperous. Rupani also met the CEO of a leading Israeli firm in the field of drip irrigation, Netafim, and discussed at length the end-to-end solutions for farmers for higher and better quality yield, water saving, reducing input costs and improved sustainability.

Digital solutions coupled with agricultural best practices such as drip irrigation will support enhancing the productivity of crops and thus achieving the goal of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022, Rupani noted during his discussion with the CEO, Ran Maidan, yesterday.

They also discussed subsurface irrigation for sugarcane crop which allows precise application of water, nutrients and other agro-chemicals directly to the root zone of plants.

The technology, according to experts, has the potential to enhance sugarcane crop production from 60 tonnes to 160 tonnes.

The CEO also announced to support pilot experimental project for first 100 farmers in setting up digital farming comprising sensor equipment, which will collect real time data related to soil, weather conditions, moisture availability, crop status and health.

These sensors will transmit and analyse all crop related information using cloud-based and artificial intelligence technologies. The technology will help in automating drip irrigation and conserving water and fertiliser by releasing them as per each crop requirement.

Rupani is on a six-day visit to Israel to strengthen cooperation in the fields of internal security, water management and agriculture.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.