Israel to seek bigger role in African development

Netanyahu praises drip irrigation and other Israeli technology at the World Expo

Israel wants to use its leading edge in agricultural innovation to help improve food production across Africa, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in Milan last week.

Visiting Israel's pavilion at the World Expo on the outskirts of the city, Netanyahu said cooperation with Italy in Africa would be top of his agenda at talks with his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi in Florence on Saturday.

The Israeli premier, who is on his first major overseas trip since being re-elected in June, said Israel was a pioneer in the fields of drip-irrigation, water recycling and desalination.

"We have ten times the population we had when the state was founded 67 years ago, and half the rainfall, yet we have no water problems because we were able to solve this with all these techniques," he said.

"Now we are prepared - and are already doing our share to take this information to people around the world so they can have water, they can have crops, they can have cows that produce more milk and many other things that offer betterment for mankind."

"Italy and Israel are today cooperating in one African country to better their agriculture," he added. "Why one? Why not twenty, why not thirty? If we pool our resources, our knowledge, our technology we can help many, many countries in Africa to not only better agriculture and to better life."

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