The World Day to Combat Desertification is observed every on June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.

Israel, one of the worlds’ leading nations in desert technologies and methods of dealing with desertification, is at the helm of these international efforts. With over 60% of its territory being a desert and another 20% semi-arid land, Israel has developed a myriad of solutions to desertification and living in the desert including desert agriculture, irrigation, desalination, aquaculture, afforestation and management of water resources.

Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, places special emphasis on the development, cooperation and assistance in the fight against desertification and drought by introducing international programmes of capacity building, training, project development and research. Israeli experts visit India in consultancy missions on irrigation, vegetable production, and greenhouse production.

Under the Indo-Israeli Agricultural Project with the federal and state governments of India, the Centre of Excellence for date palms in the heart of the desert in Bhuj, Gujarat introduced Indian farmers to date palms suitable for arid conditions made more common by desertification. Date palms are ideal value crops for farmers in arid conditions that can be found in India and Israel alike.

A delegation of professionals from India participated in a study tour in Israel organized by Mashav on water technology and management issues. Mashav’s approach is based on Israel’s experience in facing harsh climatic conditions, combines the transfer of adaptable technology, research and development, and hands-on experience originating from leading Israeli experts and institutions.

On the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification, Ambassador of Israel to India, Dr Ron Malka commented: “As part of our growing partnership with India, Israel is keen to work together and share all its experience and cutting edge technology in our joint fight against desertification, including a strategic partnership on water management and water security.”

(Courtesy: Embassy of Israel)