Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said senior Israeli leader Shimon Peres has agreed to mobilise the country’s technology to help ‘reduce’ suicides by farmers in the western Indian state. Fadnavis made the announcement in a tweet after meeting the 92-year-old two-time prime minister and former president on Wednesday afternoon during his trip to Israel.
The chief minister raised the issue of farmers’ suicides afflicting Maharashtra, particularly in Yavatmal and Osmanabad districts, with the senior Israeli leader at the Peres Centre for Peace in Tel Aviv. Peres said the Israeli farmer was essentially a researcher-innovator, who does not stick to outdated ideas and technologies.
The Israeli farmer accepts new technology with ease and Maharashtra can also benefit from this, Peres advised Fadnavis. However, the Maharashtra farmers would have to embrace technology if they wanted to progress and prosper, he said.
Peres explained how, with the help of technology, although Israel does not have much oil, its gross domestic product is higher than oil-rich Iran, and emphasised on research and technological applications for economic progress in all spheres.
Fadnavis invited Peres to visit Maharashtra. The delegation later met officials of Jethro and Dimiter, both research and technology groups, which agreed to dispatch expert teams to Yavatmal and Osmanabad to study farmers’ problems here.
As far as the suicides were concerned, Maharashtra is among the worst-affected in India with nearly 1,200 deaths reported in the first quarter of 2015.