Israel wants to gain foothold in Africa, shares agriculture tech

Posted: April 27, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in International, Israel

An African farmer In an apparent attempt to gain foothold in Africa, Israeli Minister of Agriculture Shalom Simhon announced his department would share knowledge with several African nations:

Simhon said sharing know-how, especially in irrigation and water management, was his focus on a tour of Senegal, Ivory Coast and Gabon.
His trip comes as some 10 million people in West and Central Africa face food shortages due to failed rains.

“We are not arriving here in Africa to take resources from the African countries. We are coming here in order to give know-how and abilities to these countries to develop," Simhon told Reuters in Senegal over the weekend.

"Israel is the only country in the world that has been able to conquer the desert. More than 50 percent of our exports are coming from semi-arid areas. This is our strength – this we would like to bring here."

Simhon said Israel could help Senegal reduce dependence on imports, which currently account for around 80 percent of food needs. "Senegal’s traditional agriculture is one crop a year. We know how to do three and four crops a year. We can teach that."

(Haaretz)

WHILE UNDOUBTELY A political move – partially, at least – Israel’s  advanced knowledge in agricultural technology could help it gain some new friends. With animosity towards Israel growing around the “liberal” world – particularly Europe – Israeli political echelon senses the urgency in establishing advanced international relations. While Africa is not yet an advanced region – indeed, it is one in desperate need of help – one day it just might become one. It might come at a time when Israel needs it most.

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