JERUSALEM, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday announced a program to promote innovative technology and mechanization in agriculture.
The plan was aimed at strengthening agriculture and farmers in Israel by boosting agricultural productivity and farmers' income, while reducing workforce costs and resource consumption, the ministry said.
As part of the plan, the ministry will allocate a total of 15 million new shekels (about 4.7 million U.S. dollars) to finance a quarter of farmers' investments in new technologies.
To encourage the development of local technology and manufacture, a farmer who uses a machine made in Israel will be eligible for an additional five percent subsidy of their investments, or 30 percent in total.
The technologies that will be supported in the plan include fruit picking and harvesting machines, vegetable planting machines, seeders, and the use of drones, sensors and satellite imagery services.
The climate and water control systems, hydroponic systems, sorting systems in packing houses are also included.
Israeli Agriculture Minister Oded Forer said that the program is part of an ongoing revolution in Israeli agriculture that puts the farmer at the center, while investing billions of shekels in integrating advanced technologies.