3 Indo-Israel Centres of Excellence one each in Dharwad, Bagalkot, and Kolar were inaugurated in Karnataka by Ron Malka (Official Ambassador of Israel to India), Narendra Singh Tomar (Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, GoI), Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa, and Union Minister Pralhad Joshi.
Under the Indo-Israel Agriculture project, the Department of Horticulture: Karnataka has established Centres of Excellence in Kolar, Bagalkot, and Dharwad for Mango, Pomegranate and Vegetables respectively. The centers have been established as a result of a Bilateral Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Israel.
More and more farmers are adopting horticulture in recent years as farmers have understood that horticulture crops are more profitable than agricultural crops. There is a need to increase the volume of production, Productivity, Enhance the farmers’ income by adopting new technologies.
Objectives of Indo-Israel Centres of Excellence
- Encouraging the production of disease free Vegetables, Mangoes and Pomegranate seedlings using new technologies by establishing nursery.
- Expertise the techniques in protected and open cultivation of crops to increase the production and productivity.
- Providing precision farming techniques for doubling farmer’s income.
- Adopting better post harvest management skills.
- Conducting Technical trainings/Seminars/Workshops in CoE’s.
The Project was started in the year 2013-14 with financial outlay of 197.65 Lakhs for Kolar, 365 Lakhs for Bagalkote and 507.23 Lakhs for Dharwad CoE’s from Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) New Delhi and with technical support from MASHAV, an International agency of Israel. Later the budget was provided for the Development and Maintenance of CoE under different schemes.
Centre of Excellence in Vegetables, Dharwad:
Hi-tech poly house (Fan & pad) system has been constructed in an area of 1,500 sqmt and it is used to produce good quality, disease free Vegetable Seedlings under the Soilless culture method. It has a capacity to produce of about 25 lakh vegetable seedlings annually.
The centre also has 2 Naturally ventilated poly houses measuring 1200 sqmt, 2 anti-insect net houses measuring 1000 sqmt, and 4 walk-in-tunnel measuring 264 sqmt. Training programme is being conducted for Unemployed youth, Officers & Entrepreneurs on scientific cultivation, post harvest management of vegetables. The centre has well equipped Training /Seminar hall (25 members).
The Centre of Excellence aims at Production of disease free healthy seedlings for farmers. CoE is also working on different Israeli vegetable varieties, plant protection trails and fertigation trails and testing their adoptability to local conditions.
Centre of Excellence for Mango, Kolar:
Mango is one of the most important fruit crops of India. It is being grown from the time immemorial in the country. India accounts for about 50% of world’s total production. But the productivity is very low compared to other countries. (India 6.5 MT/Ha, Brazil 15.83 MT/ Ha, Pakistan 10.62MT/Ha Israel 20MT/Ha).
In Karnataka, mango is grown is area of 1.73 lakh Ha with an annual production of 16.41 metric tons. Center of Excellence for Mango is established in G. Narayanagowda Horticulture Farm in 40 acres under NHM scheme with technical collaboration from Israel which has developed the best technology for scientific production of mangoes.
Ultra High-Density plantations in which 4 commercial varieties like Alphanso, Mallika, Dashehari&Totapuri have been demonstrated in 4 different plant space accommodating a maximum of 650 plants/acre to a minimum of 200 plants/acre. 4 Exotic varieties namely Tommy Atkins, Kent from Florida & Maya, Lilly from Israel has been introduced to know the performance of these varieties & supplying of these planting materials to the farmers.
Centre of Excellence for Pomegranate, Bagalkote:
Centre of Excellence for Pomegranate has been established under Indo – Israel agriculture project with technical know – how from Israel state. Centre is in an area of 10 acres located in University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkote campus.
The centre has established with advanced technology in Pomegranate like different Trellising systems of planting with Automated drip irrigation &fertigation, development of canopy management technology to improve the yield & quality of Pomegranate, supplying good quality planting materials to farmers, Transfer of technology through seminars & training to farmers.