On the eve of the football World Cup in Brazil, the 24th Fresh Agro-Mashov exhibition, described by organisers as "agriculture’s annual World Cup", was held in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv.
The event brought together companies from across the globe, allowing the exchange of ideas between countries with no formal diplomatic relations with one another.
"Contrary to what you might expect, the Fresh Agro-Mashov Exhibition manages to overcome politics," said the event's founder, Haim Allouche. "Proof of this is the fact that the largest delegation was the Palestinian delegation."
The Palestinian delegation was reportedly formed of around 500 guests this year.
"Agriculture is a bridge between peoples," said Samir Muadi, the Agriculture Co-ordinator of Judea and Samaria. "The Palestinian farmer can now market to Europe and Russia through his Israeli colleagues. And they in turn can use their Palestinian platforms for marketing fresh produce to new markets in the Gulf States, which are blocked to direct marketing by Israeli growers. The Dubai customer can eat the strawberries, dates and pears of Israeli farmers, and the reciprocal marketing possibilities between farmers in the Palestinian Authority and in Israel can deepen and intensify as demand grows in the East and in Russia."
Johnny Georges, a farmer from Florida, was invited by Germany's ILS-Global to mark the Middle East launch of his patented Tree-T-Pee system to reduce the amount of water needed by fruit trees.
A sizeable Argentinean delegation was present in order to learn about new agricultural technology that may assist small and medium-sized farmers to boost agriculture in their region.
Meanwhile, Israel's Zeraim Gedera, part of global agrochemical group Syngenta, was on hand to make contact with buyers from different parts of the country and to inform them of the best products the company has to offer.
Inbal Avraham, a senior company official, said Zeraim Gedera's focus was presently on strengthening ties with growers, not least for its new high-quality tomato seeds.
An agreement of intent and co-operation was also signed between Israel's Mashov Group and representatives of Chinese organisation IGEA, the International Green Economy Association.
Chinese companies are seeking advanced technology in agriculture, according to IGEA's vice secretary-general, Joseph Zhn, who stressed the importance of agricultural progress to the Chinese and the need for co-operation with Israel as the leader in this field.