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Monday, October 29, 2007

Israel-China cooperation: Mashav

Israel-China cooperation is good news - and it is ongoing. Mashav is only one aspect of it.

FM Livni receives Chinese Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of  MASHAV

FM Livni: "Despite the huge difference in size between the two countries, the ceremony bears testimony to the communal values China and Israel share, and the mutual commitment of the two countries to contend with the global challenges of the 21st century". 

 (Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni today (Monday, October 29) was presented with a special Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of MASHAV - the Israel Foreign Ministry's Center for International Cooperation - for its activities in China, from The China Association for International Exchange of Personnel (CAIEP), which is the nationwide government-sponsored institution engaged in the international exchange of specialized technical and managerial personnel.

The impressive ceremony, marking 50 years of MASHAV operations around the world and 15 years of operations in China, was held under the auspices of Minister Ji Yunshi, Director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. In her speech, FM Livni said that despite the huge difference in size between the two countries, the ceremony bears testimony to the communal values China and Israel share, and the mutual commitment of the two countries to contend with the global challenges of the 21st century. 

The connection between MASHAV and CAIEP began in 1992, soon after diplomatic relations between the two countries had been established and subsequent to the signing of an agreement of cooperation between the two organizations. Since the signing of the agreement, MASHAV has sent over 20 Israeli experts to China, and over 600 Chinese trainees have participated in various courses held in Israel.

MASHAV activities in China received a very warm response from the local administration, and just recently, Yigal Cohen, a MASHAV expert, received the most prestigious National Certificate of Merit for his work in Zhejiang province.

Israel is perceived by the Chinese as a source of knowledge and advanced technology, which can be implemented locally by cooperating with MASHAV. The Chinese authorities aspire to make use of this cooperation to accelerate agricultural development in rural areas by improving both crop quantity and quality, to cope with scarcity of water in urban and rural locations, to improve the Chinese food basket by developing the dairy industry, Research & Development, medical education, etc.

From their inception, MASHAV operations in China formed the basis of Chinese-Israeli bilateral relations.

MASHAV activities in China concentrate on four main spheres of operation:

1. Demonstration dairy farm near Beijing
Initiated in 2001, the project formed a part of the Chinese government's plan to encourage increased consumption of dairy products by the population.

MASHAV implemented the considerable milk production knowledge and technology accumulated in Israel over the years and adapted them to local conditions and genetics, successfully expressing Israeli dairy production capabilities. When the program commenced in 2001, average milk production was 400 liters per cow per year. Current production, six years later, has reached 10,500 liters per cow per year.

2. Chinese-Israeli International Centre for Training in Agriculture at the Chinese Agricultural University in Beijing
MASHAV holds annual agricultural training courses at the university. The topics are determined jointly by MASHAV and the university. Two Israeli experts deliver the training courses, which are each attended by 25 Chinese students.

3. The Western-China field crops project
An advanced Israeli irrigation system combining sprinkler and drip irrigation techniques was integrated into this project. The advanced irrigation methods saved 40% of previous water expenditure, increased yield by 50% and also improved crop quality. Crops include cotton, industrial tomatoes and sugar beets).

4. The Western-China vegetable and flower greenhouse production project
This project encompasses an area of 85 dunams of greenhouses, some of which have been allocated state-of-the-art Israeli technology. The yields of both vegetable and flowers serve as a shining example in relation to traditional crop growing methods of the region.

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