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Serbia to grant Israeli firm $83m contract to upgrade irrigation system

The final project could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, says Merhav Group president Joseph Maiman

The Israeli company Merhav Group on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with Serbia regarding $83 million investment to upgrade the local irrigation system.

"The next step should be the signing of the investment contract. Merhav Group will in the next 90 days submit a precise financial plan and feasibility study on the investment," Serbian Agriculture Minister Dragan Veselinov told reporters.

Merhav's intended investment will go to improve the irrigation system to supply water to some 20,000 hectares of arable land.

It is part of a wider Serbian government's project to upgrade the water supply to an area of around 200,000 hectares of arable soil.

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"We are looking at a project worth hundreds of millions of dollars," said Joseph Maiman, the president of the Merhav Group.

Merhav said earlier this year it would invest $350 million between 2001 and 2005 to improve Serbia's irrigation system.