Virginia to invest $10m in Israeli agritech cos

The new program follows on the success of the previous incubator at Richmond, in which $10 million was invested in participating Israeli agritech companies.

Virginia estimates that it will invest up to $10 million in the next 2-3 years in Israeli companies that will participate in the Gateway USA: Agritech program, which is based in the state. The new program follows on the success of the previous incubator at Richmond, in which $10 million was invested in participating Israeli agritech companies.

A delegation from the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) is in Israel to interview potential companies.

VIAB helped Strauss Group Ltd. (TASE:STRS) subsidiary Sabra Dipping Company build the largest hummus plant in the US at an investment of $100 million.

VIAB says that agriculture in Virginia is based on family farms, cooperatives, and small businesses. Most farms are 200-500 acres in size, 15% are owned by women. 32% of Virginia's area is farmland, and the state's fish farming industry raises both sea fish (80%) and freshwater fish (20%).

VIAB executive director Ralph Robbins said, "The governor of Virginia places great important on investment in agrotechnology, and sees Israel as a source of development for the future. Virginia is strategically located in the US: two-thirds of the population is located within a day's drive."

Virginia has other programs for Israeli companies, including in homeland security and the life sciences. The Virginia Life Science Investments program has already invested several million dollars in Israeli companies, and intends to make large investments in the future.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 21, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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