K’taka sets up 3 centres of excellence under Indo-Israel project

Bengaluru The government of India and Karnataka on Wednesday jointly inaugurated three centres of excellence (CoE) in the southern state under the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP), a statement from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said
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Published on Jun 17, 2021 12:55 AM IST
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Bengaluru The government of India and Karnataka on Wednesday jointly inaugurated three centres of excellence (CoE) in the southern state under the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP), a statement from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said.

The three COEs will include one for pomegranate in Bagalkote, mango in Kolar and vegetables in Dharwad district, the statement added.

“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 statement stated.

Karnataka has tried since long to push the Israel model of agriculture to be implemented in the state, especially in the northern parts which are home to the second most arid regions in the country after Rajasthan.

The CoE for mango was established under IIAP with a total outlay of 198 lakh from the Centre and 360 lakh from Karnataka.

Karnataka, however, faces extremes of droughts and floods in most parts, leaving a significant number of people with rising debts on account of problems like poor prices for produce, rising input and transport costs and higher pressure on smaller holdings.

With most urban centres under various stages of Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown, a higher number of people have returned to their villages and increased the dependence on agriculture.

The new centres of excellence will use advanced technologies like high and ultra-high density planting, rejuvenation, canopy management, automated drip irrigation and fertigation technology among others to help improve yield and the quality of mango, pomegranate and vegetables.

The CMO stated that exotic varieties of mango like tommy atkins, kent from Florida & Maya, lilly from Israel have been introduced to know the performance of these varieties & supplying of these planting materials to the farmers.

The statement added that 50–55-year-old and unproductive trees have been rejuvenated to increase yield per unit area.

The CoE for pomegranate has an outlay of 343 lakh from the Centre and 156 lakh from the Karnataka government.

The CoE for vegetables has an outlay of 500 lakh from the Centre and Rs.260 lakh from the state government.

The joint venture will, in the future, look at adoption of villages to demonstrate innovation developed in these CoE’s, the CMO said.

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Monday, December 06, 2021