Israel’s Agriculture Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority have announced a joint program to assist in the development of advanced technologies to improve Israel’s food security.

For the program’s pilot, 8.6 million shekels ($2.7 million) in grants will be awarded to six Israeli agro-tech startups. A second call for proposals was released on Tuesday and is open until March 20.

“Agro-tech is an important field and has a real impact on the future of the world through a variety of cross-sectors, such as climate, food security and sustainable agriculture that allows less use of pesticides and high nutritional values,” said IIA CEO Dror Bin.

“The purpose of the program is twofold: to provide an opportunity for first implementation of advanced technologies for Israeli startups and to allow Israeli citizens to enjoy the innovation developed locally,” he added.

Among the six companies selected for the pilot are BioFishency, that is developing an automated system for the treatment of industrial fishing ponds; Agrint Sensing Solutions, that is using seismic sensors for early detection of caterpillar infestations in fruit trees; ALTA, a drone company that is working on a solution for precise spraying of plant products; and Salicrop, which is treating seed to make them more resistant to extreme weather conditions.

“We are investing in this project while thinking about our future, and through agro-tech we will be able to overcome the challenges of tomorrow,” said Agriculture Ministry Director-General Naama Kaufman-Pess. “Food security is our responsibility.”

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