ECOWAS delegation with
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (center)
and MASHAV head Gil Haskel (second from right)
at the Volcani Center in Beit Dagan
(photo credit:SHARON UDASIN)
6 December 2016. This three-day conference, titled “Enhancing Sustainable Agricultural Productivity in Arid and Semi-arid Regions: The Israeli Development Experience,” was a collaboration between ECOWAS and the Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV (Hebrew acronym for Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation), along with the Agriculture Ministry’s CINADCO: The Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation.
The conference participants began their trip by learning about water and land management techniques, dairy technologies and agricultural extension, at the MASHAV Agricultural Training Center on Kibbutz Shefayim near the central coast.
They also met with several Israeli agricultural technology companies and startups.
At the Volcani Center, the visitors spoke with researchers and were shown a variety of fruits, vegetables and other crops grown in harsh climatic conditions.
While Israel is eager to bolster its cooperative activities with all sub-Saharan African countries, until recently, efforts have been predominantly focused on East Africa, which is much closer to Israel and English-speaking. A few West African countries may have been missing from the delegation, but the 10 nations represented expressed keen interest in advancing collaborative opportunities with Israel in the agricultural sector.