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“Israel has good, affordable & adaptable technologies in agriculture for the Indian farmers"
An exclusive interview with Mr. IIan Divon, Head of Economic & Trade Mission at the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai sheds light on the increased interest in agricultural cooperation between Israel and India

Mr. Ilan Divon is the Head of Economic & Trade Mission at the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, India. He took responsibility of this office over a year and a half ago. The office is responsible for enhancing bilateral trade and economic relations between Israel and India.

Mr. Divon acts as a liaison between Israel and India in order to encourage mutual business and investments in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odissa and Chattisgarh. In addition to this, he has also taken great efforts in promoting Israeli technologies in agriculture and security to Indian companies and Government bodiesauthorities.


It is now nearly a year and a half since you took over as Head of Economic & Trade Mission, Consulate General of Israel, Mumbai. How does it feel to be in this position in India, compared with your earlier postings?

"The position in India is harder and more difficult than my previous mission. India is a big country, and as such for any Israeli technology or solution – there are hundred Indian technologies and solutions, and it is very difficult and time consuming to persuade the Indian partner that our technology or solution is more efficient (assuming that it is)".


Do you sense an upswing in interest since the national elections held in India in May 2014?

"Since the elections two months ago, there has been much talk about  overall 'change', but I don’t see it yet in the field or in the economic arena".


It appears that there is increased interest in agricultural cooperation between Israel and India. In what areas do you see particular interest?

"If there is an increase in this interest, I take part of the responsibility upon myself. I am working very hard to promote this field and I think that this is a part of the economy in which Israel’s small size does not matter. We have good, affordable technologies and the adoption of those technologies is easy for the Indian farmers. I also think that the key for the Indian economy is the Indian farmers. The rise in India’s standard of living will create a demand for better food and better products – this demand will in turn create new factories and plants and more people will be hired on better wages– so the result will be a very high rise in India’s GDP".


Do you have specific plans for the once-in-three-year mega agricultural event AGRITECH 2015 to be held in April 2015? India has traditionally sent the largest delegation to this event.

"I will work to promote the participation of Indian visitors in this important international exhibiting. About 600 visitors from India arrived to the last exhibition and I think that they have learned and received interesting and helpful ideas. I hope that in 2015 we will pass the 1,000 mark for participants from India and hopefully, it will contribute to a positive change in Indian agriculture".


Is there an increased interest in any of the non-traditional sectors during your tenure as Head of Economic & Trade?

"Now we are seeing increased interest from  automobile industry and automobile technologies companies from Israel to cooperate and create joint ventures with Indian companies. This is a very promising field due to the fact that India is a big producer of cars, trucks and other vehicles".


What kind of delegations are you planning to send to Israel over the next year or so? Which sectors will they cover?

"In the next year I am planning to send agricultural delegations, municipal delegations, food importers, and car manufacturers".


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