Croatia and Israel to Cooperate in Agriculture

By 9 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 9, 2018 - Croatian Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić is currently on a two-day official visit to Israel at the invitation of his Israeli counterpart, Uri Ariel, the Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday.

The reason for the visit is the 20th international agricultural technology exhibition, known as Agritech, in Tel Aviv. The exhibition takes place every three years and is the largest agriculture, irrigation and innovation show in the region.

Round-table discussions on the position of family farms in unfavourable climate conditions and their role in global agricultural production were held as part of the fair.

Tolušić, together with his host, Minister Ariel, took part in a ministerial panel on the role of irrigation in agricultural production.

A bilateral meeting between the two ministers reaffirmed the efforts made so far to strengthen cooperation in the area of irrigation, innovative agricultural production and trade in agricultural and food products. "Croatia and Israel have the same goal, and that is sustainable agricultural production with high standards of environmental protection," Tolušić said, recalling Israel's successful irrigation of the desert.

"We don't need to irrigate a desert, but we need to irrigate, because that is one of the ways to combat the unpredictability of climate change and one of the prerequisites to increase income per hectare," he added.

Tolušić said that Ariel had shown the Croatian delegation various methods of irrigation, their advantages and disadvantages. "We have met with the most important Israeli and global companies specialising in the design and implementation of modern solutions to farmland irrigation and development of so-called smart agriculture," Tolušić said, adding that concrete steps would be taken soon to increase farmland irrigation in Croatia. "It's a sine qua non and we will use the experience from the best," the Croatian minister said.

Tolušić said that Croatian winemakers and food producers were already present in the Israeli market and had adjusted their production to the needs of local consumers. "I expect Israel to become one of the more important export markets for our products and for that purpose we have presented those products for which Croatia has comparative advantages and which Israel needs," he said.

The Croatian delegation also attended a ceremony marking 60 years since the establishment of the Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV), organised by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.