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AGRICULTURE

EMRC organises 16th essay of Senior Mgt Economic Mission Africa-Israel
Monday, 29 January, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Brussels
The 16th edition of the Senior Management Economic Mission Africa-Israel took place in Israel recently. It was organised by European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC), in collaboration with Kanat, Profit Agro, Hazera, Rivulis and other companies and project developers. Mashav Agricultural Training Centre (MATC) welcomed the participants.

It brought together 14 participants from eight countries (Angola, Belgium, Chad, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania), with a common interest in agriculture, water management and livestock, both in terms of equipment and materials as well as training and expertise.

The objectives of the mission were to discover the Israeli expertise in agriculture and farming technologies and to initiate projects in Africa involving Israeli entrepreneurs and expertise. Networking, discussions and field visits made up the four-day programme, and it continued to promote follow-up contacts in Israel.

Hybrid seeds, animal feed plant & dairy
The first day commenced with distribution of material and a presentation by the participants. This was followed by Hazera, a major seeds company and a world leader in its sector.

Asaf Stern made a presentation about its products, improved seeds (tomatoes, seedless water-melons, onion, corn, and other legumes and fruit) and their work and achievement in Africa, and led the participants to visit one of the company’s greenhouses, which serves for research and development (R&D) and experiments.

The company offers integrated solutions to the projects, where all parameters are taken into account, following discussions with the local partners, in order to provide the highest agricultural productivity at the least cost.

The participants proceeded to Beer Tuvia, to visit Yaziv, a large animal feed centre serving a few dozen farmers, mainly from the region, accompanied by Kfir Levi, marketing director.

The centre included a variety of elements, which together allowed for a good and correct mix of nutritional components and vitamins, which is essential for a balanced diet to the animals and ensures their health and production. Yaziv is one of Israel’s biggest animal feed mixture centres.

The participants visited a cowshed and a dairy farm in Beer Tuvia, with Guy Golan, director. For a successful and beneficial value chain, there is need to ensure that a few of the value chain’s parts are situated close to one another. This cowshed was one of a number of them in the vicinity which enjoy the animal feed centre, to reduce costs and ensure communication between farmers.

MATC training centre, irrigation & poultry
The second day, the delegation participated in a tour of Kibbutz Shefayim, where the MASHAV Agricultural Training Centre (MATC) is located, with Evelyn Rosenthal, deputy director.

They had the opportunity to soak up the cooperative ideology and model of the kibbutz, a model that is now partly adopted in different regions in Africa.

MATC provides training in various subjects such as irrigation systems, farm management and agricultural entrepreneurship, over a period that varies from two weeks to a month or more.

The participants could understand the need to create training centres related to agricultural technologies in Africa.

They proceeded to Kibbutz Gvat to visit Rivulis, one of Israel’s leading companies for drip irrigation, a technology invented in Israel in the 1950s to address the lack of water and the need to increase agricultural productivity.

The site visit and the works done by Rivulis were presented to the participants by Tzachy Gabay, commercial and sales manager, and allowed them to better understand water management systems and different irrigation and fertigation technologies.

They departed to Kibbutz Hasolelim, to Sol Kanaf Group, to visit a poultry with Ilan Karmon, general manager.

Chicken is a basic food element and the most commonly consumed meat in Israel. It requires special and careful handling to ensure quality and high production. The participants were guided through a hatchery of layers, one of the biggest in the country.

Hydroponics, greenhouses & cultural visit
The third day began with a trip to the North by a visit to Kibbutz Hazorea, where David Tenenbaum from Profit Agro showed the participants around a large nursery and hydroponic greenhouse for lettuce and other greens.

The participants had a chance to learn about very efficient hydroponic technologies that are used to grow the lettuce, as well about in-house packaging methods. Hydroponic systems care for the plants throughout its breed cycle, while light, air and the heat are all computer-controlled in the greenhouse for optimal conditions and best results.

In the town of Afula, the participants went to Profit Agro, specialising in integrated solutions for agriculture. They visited the factory and discussed with David Tenenbaum, senior director, the advantages of growing in greenhouses and similar structures in Africa.

Kanat visit
The spent a part of the fourth (and last day) by a visit to KANAT (or IFNRA), Israel Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture. Shmuel Turgeman, chief executive officer, presented the participants the organisation, established in 1967 by the government of Israel and the farmers’ marketing boards, with the objective of protecting the farmers against weather damages and natural disasters. With over 17.000 members, KANAT considers itself as a partner in the daily activity of the Israeli farmers, and is dedicated to supporting their business activities.

In a nutshell
The 16th Economic Mission Africa-Israel 2017 was an important event in the context of strengthening the relations between the members of the African and Israeli private and public sectors. During the four days of the mission, participants had the opportunity to discover the different initiatives and efforts made by Israel to face water and climate challenges, as well as the geopolitical, territorial and natural constraints of this young country.

Israel has experienced a turbulent history, and has encountered very harsh constraints in terms of natural resources, but it was able to take advantage of these obstacles and turn them into opportunities. Facing this tough reality, Israeli entrepreneurs have continually developed  technological innovations that make Israel one of the most progressive countries in the world.

The    presence of an African delegation of entrepreneurs, coming from countries which only recently gained independence, helped feed constructive debate and exchange ideas on pragmatic solutions that can be adopted in Africa.

We see this economic mission as the starting point for partnerships and joint projects, and EMRC will actively pursue its efforts for the continuation and strengthening of the Africa – Israel economic relations within the framework of its mission.
 
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