Israel boosts Milan Expo's efforts to combat hunger
State can make big contribution to Feeding the Planet theme13 March, 18:40
The theme of the Expo, 'Feeding the Planet - Energy for Life', centers on fighting famine and malnutrition worldwide through sustainable development, global cooperation and new technology.
And Israel has a big contribution to make in this area.
The Mediterranean country is a pioneer in the fields of agriculture and effective water management thanks to the technologies and practices its experts and farmers have developed to be able to grow food on its largely arid terrain.
"The outstanding innovative expertise of Israel in the field of technology for agriculture in arid areas undoubtedly represents a huge added value for the development of the Expo's theme," said Expo 2015 CEO Giuseppe Sala. "This signature seals a partnership that will provide a continuous and fruitful dialogue between all the protagonists of Expo Milano 2015. "Each country is asked to share its knowledge and excellence in order to help solve the food and environmental emergencies which are afflicting the planet".
Israel's agricultural excellence centers on innovative, advanced solutions in the fields of irrigation, farming in barren areas, the research and development of new varieties of seeds and organic, eco-friendly agricultural practices.
It has has also achieved success in fighting desertification with land reclamation policies and ambitious irrigation systems that have made previously barren areas fertile. An example is the Kinneret-Negev aqueduct - a 130-kilometer-long system of pipes, pumps and canals that carries water from the Lake Tiberias, in the north of Israel, to the arid south.
"We believe that Israel will make a significant contribution to the theme of Expo Milano 2015." said Elazar Cohen, commissioner general of the Israeli pavilion, at the signing of the deal. "Our objective is to show visitors the efforts that Israel has put in place in order to feed the world and to showcase the unique spirit of our country in terms of innovation, as well as its culture and ancient tradition". The deal sees the Mediterranean country take up a strategic position for its pavilion at the exhibition site in an area adjacent to the Italian pavilion. With Israel, Expo Milano 2015 has now signed participation contracts with 35 of the 123 countries that have so far committed themselves to taking part.
The Expo, which lasts six months, is expected to attract over 20d millions of visitors and to be a massive money spinner for Italy's business capital.
Italy last hosted a world's fair in 1992 with a Christopher Columbus-themed Expo in Genoa.
Roberto Formigoni, the general commissioner of Expo Milano 2015, said that organizers expect to hit their target of having 130-140 countries sign up by the end of the year.
"There's still a hint of skepticism (about Expo) in Italy," said Formigoni, who quit as the governor of Lombardy last year after a series of corruption scandals hit his regional government.
"But in the rest of the world, they look at us with great interest".