In order to take forward the Israel’s modern agricultural technologies in the field of horticulture, the Government of Karnataka recently inaugurated three centers-of-excellence (COEs) in the state under Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP), a joint initiative of Government of India with Israeli government.
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 centres-of-excellence (COEs) in 12 Indian states, implementing advanced Israeli Agro-Technology customised to local conditions.
Out of these 29 fully functional COEs, three are from Karnataka, viz., COE Kolar for mango, COE Bagalkote for pomegranate and COE Dharwad for vegetables. These centres-of-excellence generate knowledge, demonstrate best practices and train officers and farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, BS Yediyurappa, chief minister of Karnataka thanked Government of India and State of Israel for providing financial and technical assistance for establishment of these COEs 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.
Highlighting the benefits of the CoEs, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said, “These centres 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.”
Speaking on the potential of these centres in the state, R. Shankar, Minister of Horticulture and Sericulture, 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. To provide these latest technologies to the farmers, Government of India in collaboration with State of Israel has helped in establishment of these centres-of-excellence. 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 farmers income”.
Highlighting India-Israel partnership in the field of agriculture and allied sectors, Dr. Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel to India 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 centres-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.”
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Government of India; senior officers from Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India and Government of Karnataka. The senior officers of all the state horticulture missions also joined the virtual launch of the ceremony.
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