Helping Myanmar’s agricultural sector
Drip irrigation and water preservation technologies could prove immensely useful for Myanmar. This is the message from Israeli water resource management expert Mr Nir Atzmon, PhD. Israel regularly holds a conference on water technologies and environmental controls that draws delegates from around the world, including Myanmar. The 8th International Exhibition and the 5th International Conference on Water Technologies and Environmental Control – or WATEC – will be held in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 13-15.
Mizzima TV recently interviewed Israeli representative Mr Atzmon PhD to discuss the ongoing cooperation between Israel and Myanmar over water resource management. Nir is presently based in Cambodia where he provides consulting services for different agricultural and forestry crops. Until recently he also held the position of the General Manager of Field Operation in CamAgra Investment Group, Cambodia. He was managing Acacia Plantations on 8000 hectares of concession land. Previously, he served as senior researcher in the Department of Natural Resources, ARO (Agricultural Research Organization), The Volcani Center, Ministry of Agriculture, Bet-Dagan, Israel. He has been engaged in forestry research and agronomy projects both in Israel and internationally since 1991.
In the following interview, Mr Atzmon discusses the potential for expanding cooperation with Myan-
mar, and seeking to help the country’s “dry regions.”
What are the present status of cooperation between Israel and Myanmar specifically in the areas of agriculture as well as water management? How many Myanmar students and trainees are currently being trained in Israel and what are they learning in Israel?
The cooperation between Israel and Myanmar is currently mainly between Israel’s private sector and Myanmar’s private sector. They have been working with each other for many years, yet the volume is low due to several reasons both in the fields of water management and agriculture. Needless to say, the potential for collaboration between companies from both countries is still huge and not being fulfilled.
If you are looking at the public sector, Israel’s National Company, Mekorot, has been in touch with the Myanmar government and municipalities for several years now. The Chief Ministers of both Yangon and Mandalay participated in Israel’s largest Water expo (WATEC) in 2013, where Yangon’s Chief Minister was also speaking at Mekorot’s event. Unfortunately, we still haven’t been able to collaborate on a more deeper level and increase the cooperation in water management and technologies as well as the knowledge transfer between the countries’ public sectors.
Regarding Myanmar students, 265 Myanmar students have just finishing a one year stay in Israel, which included one day studying and a few days of field’s work a week, on various modern agro technologies, i.e. irrigation, botanic, livestock, agro-safety, post
Mr Nir Atzmon discusses Israel-Myanmar cooperation. Photo: Mizzima