Israelis’ agricultural partnership with Eastern Cape mooted

The Israelis are hosting an agribusiness seminar in East London today a day after meeting Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane about a possible partnership to develop agriculture in the province.

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Israel ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk held talks with Qoboshiyane in the coastal city yesterday and according to spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, the meeting agreed that the Middle Eastern country “will help the province (to) better develop its irrigation system, dairy production, youth (participation) in agriculture, public private sector partnership for small and medium farmers and urban farming”.

The seminar today would “introduce Israeli companies to business people” from the province, according to Sicwetsha. Lenk’s spokesperson Itai Melchior couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Cosatu Eastern Cape secretary Macvicar Dyasopu said the province should not partner with the Israeli government because of its “inhuman and unjust practices in Palestine”.

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“No matter how good Israel is in agriculture we can’t use them as a base of agricultural development in the Eastern Cape, especially when there is a call throughout the country calling for a boycott of their products. We can’t go closer to them as that would be tantamount to selling us out,” he said.