Ambassador Shani Cooper-Zubida, State of Israel Ambassador to Ghana on Tuesday educated some members of Ghanaian business community on innovative agricultural revolution that propelled Israel as a highly developed industrial state.
She said Israel was a major exporter of fresh produce and a world-leader in agricultural technologies despite the fact that the geography of the country was not naturally conducive for agriculture.
Mrs Cooper-Zubida stated at a Business Breakfast Meeting organised by Integrity Magazine which was on the general theme: “Opportunities for Ghana-Israel Business Cooperation in Agriculture Innovation and Technology”.
The meeting served as a liaison platform between farmers, financial institutions, providers of agricultural technology and innovation in the agricultural value chain.
The Israeli Ambassador who has additional responsibility over Liberia and Sierra Leone explained that more than half of the land area was desert, and the climate and lack of water resources do not favour farming.
She said only 20 per cent of the land area was naturally arable. In 2018 agriculture represented 2.5 per cent of total Gross Domestic Product and 3.6 per cent of exports.
Mrs Cooper-Zubida said while farmworkers made up only 3.7 per cent of the work force, Israel produced 95 per cent of its own food requirements, supplementing this with imports of grain, oilseeds, meat, coffee, cocoa and sugar.
Ms Ayelet Levin-Karp, Head of Trade and Economic Mission at the Embassy of the State of Israel to Ghana, explained that they were now a world leader in drip irrigation, stressing modern drip irrigation was invented in 1959, has cut down water usage by 90 per cent.
She said Israeli companies controlled 30 per cent of the global market for drip irrigation.
Ms Lavin-Karp said Israel had build strong relationship with Ghana over the years, “this year ten Ghanaians would be granted full scholarship to participate in a tailor-made training in Israel on Intensive Vegetable Production for Ghanaians”.
Other activities earmarked for the year include; a collaboration with GIZ and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to organise an Agribusiness, Processing and Marketing Training in the Ashanti Region between July and August.
Sixty Ghanaian students would also go to Israel for eleven months training in Agrostudies programme in September and between October and November, they will organize a training in Accra on Irrigation for Fresh Maize Market Production.