Friday, May 12, 2006

Gujarat's chief minister is in Israel

as part of an Indian delegation to an agricultural exhibition headed by Sharad Pawar, where he voiced the need for Gujarat to import agricultural technologies and water management techniques from Israel. Israel is the poster-boy for the "green desert" dream, and Narendra Modi only follows in the line of generations of Indian leaders who have dreamt of replicating the Israel model in dry parts of India.

In the 1990s, Gujarat hired the services of Tahal Consulting Engineers of Israel to prepare a plan for its water resources. The voluminous "Tahal report" is still a ubiquitous feature in Gujarat water circles though it would be interesting to know how religiously, if at all, it is being implemented.

Interestingly, the Gujarat CM gave a presentation titled "More Crop Per Drop". This term was widely used by advocates of efficient irrigation techniques at International Water Management Institute in Vallab Vidyanagar. I wonder if that group was had anything to do with the CM's presentation.

It is heartening to see the CM talk about efficient agriculture and water management, given the fact that political discussion on water in Gujarat start and end with Narmada.

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