Bengaluru : For taking forward the Israeli technologies in the field of Horticulture, B. S. Yediyurappa Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka and Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India jointly inaugurated the 3 Centers of Excellence (COEs) established in Karnataka under Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP) on June 16.
Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) Division of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India and MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation – are leading Israel’s largest G2G cooperation, with 29 operational Centers of Excellence (COEs) across India in 12 States, implementing advanced Israeli Agro-Technology tailored to local conditions.
Out of these 29 fully functional COEs, 3 are from Karnataka, viz., COE Kolar for Mango, COE Bagalkote for Pomegranate and COE Dharwad for Vegetables. CoE is an advanced & intensive agricultural farm that generates knowledge, demonstrates best practices and trains farmers based on Israeli novel agro-technology tailored to the local conditions. The newly inaugurated CoEs will help farmers in Karnataka to choose and adopt the technology that suits them best, with the goal of doubling their income.
The Centre of Excellence for Pomegranate in Bagalkot will introduce irrigation management based on Precision Agriculture by satellite imaging, advanced fertigation (specialty fertilizers applied through drip irrigation) and beneficial demonstration of super Bhagwa canopy management techniques.
The Centre of Excellence for Mango in Kolar will generate end to end Mango best cultivation practices protocols, including new varieties of Israeli rootstocks based on advanced and commercial hi-tech nursery management. It will also define canopy management guidelines for both rejuvenation of traditional trees and planting of new intensive young orchards. It will implement drip irrigation and fertigation systems that will result in optimal water use, both in efficiency and in productivity.
The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Dharwad will produce high-quality seedlings, demonstrate best practices in a range of Green-house structures with Israeli standards, introduce Israeli vegetable varieties, and generate nematode solutions.
In addition, it has been agreed to take forward the India- Israel Development Cooperation in Agriculture to establish Indo- Israel Villages of Excellence (IIVOE) with the aim to create a model ecosystem in Agriculture. This initiative will be implemented in eight states across India of which, Karnataka will be a leading state and will implement it in 10 villages linked to the Bagalkot & Kolar Centres of Excellence.
The IIVOE program will focus on establishing modern agriculture infrastructure, support the farmers with capacity building activities, and enhance market linkage to optimize the profitability of individual farmers.
B. S. Yediyurappa, the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka said “there is a lot of scope for adoption of new technologies in crop production and post-harvest management to increase the production and productivity of the horticulture produce in Karnataka. He thanked the Government of India and State of Israel for providing financial and technical assistance for establishment of these Centers of Excellence (COEs) under Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP) in Karnataka to transfer the innovative technologies for improving production, productivity and quality of horticulture produce in turn to achieve sustainability and improve economic status of the farmers”.
Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said, “these Centers will help farming community of Karnataka to get access to the latest innovative Israeli technologies and adopting them to increase production and productivity which will help in increasing the farmers income. These COEs have the capacity of 50,000 grafts production and 25 lakh vegetables seedlings production annually. About 20,000 farmers have visited these COEs to gain knowledge about the modern cultivation practices in horticulture”.
Pralhad Venkatesh Joshi, Hon’ble Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Government of India said, “The establishment of Centre of Excellence in Dharwad and other two districts would help the farming community to get high quality seedlings and adopt advanced technologies in precision farming in Green-House with automation irrigation with fertigation. This in turn increase the productivity and quality of Horticulture produce which fetch more value in market. Therefore farmers will get more income per unit area”.
R. Shankar, Hon’ble Minister of Horticulture and Sericulture, Government of Karnataka said, “ To provide the latest technologies to the farmers, Government of India in collaboration with State of Israel has helped in establishment of these Centers of Excellence for Mango in Kolar, Pomegranate in Bagalkot and Vegetables in Dharwad under the Indo Israel Agriculture Project (IIAP). Karnataka farmers are very progressive to adopt innovative technologies developed by these centres. Ensuring increase in production, productivity by reducing input cost in turn increasing farmer’s income”.
Dr. Ron Malka, H.E. Ambassador of Israel to India, Embassy of Israel said, “We are proud and excited to collaborate with the Government of Karnataka in Agriculture, which is a significant part of the Indo-Israeli partnership. Today we inaugurated three different Centers of Excellence at a time when relations between our countries are strengthening and expanding rapidly. This is a milestone in the development of the State’s Agriculture sector, and will give local farmers a competitive edge in the National and International market. This will also enable them to double their income, aligned with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister ‘Narendra Modi.”
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Senior officers of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India and Rajender Kumar Kataria, Principal Secretary, Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka, Ms. B Fouzia Taranum, Director of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka and other senior officers of all the State Horticulture Missions also joined to witness the virtual launch of the ceremony.