Business / Industry Sectors
Israeli experts will be introducing sewer water recycling for irrigation purpose in Maharashtra
Centres for Excellence will be opened in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, West Bengal and Goa between 2016 and 2018

India-Israel friendship is not only yielding fruits but also rich vegetables literally. With the help of Israeli agriculture experts, Indian farmers are growing high quality vegetable and fruit crops that are not only fetching them good money but also saving water and expenses on pesticides. Besides, they are also experimenting with new variants of vegetables and fruits that can be grown 365 days a year instead of just in a season.

A tomato plant as tall as 10 ft instead of usual 3ft, summer special musk melon ready to hit market in December, seedless brinjal and rich international varieties of  capsicum — one can see all these and many more exotic vegetables at Karnal’s ‘Centre for Excellence for Vegetables’ — flourishing thanks to India-Israel Agriculture Co-operation. The project is carried out by MASHAV  — Israel’s agency for International Development Co-operation with the support of Union Ministry of Agriculture, Embassy of Israel and State Governments in India.

At present, two Israeli agricultural experts — Yoram Eisenstadt and Asher Eizenkot — are conducting a workshop to share knowledge, technologies and expertise in the field of agriculture and horticulture, besides training the officials of the 26 Centres of Excellence that have been set up under the project. These 26 centres are in nine States — Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh — where farmers are trained in growing vegetables, flowers, citrus, mango, pomegranates, dates along with beekeeping and dairy.

According to Dan Alluf, MASHAV Attaché in Embassy of Israel, the aim is to introduce diversity in agriculture so that farmers can choose from value crop instead of usual cash crops like paddy and wheat. “We give options for more variety in horticulture and help them achieve higher yields both in quantity and quality. Training not only helps farmers substantially increase crop yield and profit, but also diversity the food basket by introducing high value crops. Drip irrigation, vertigation and intensive cultivation methods also help maximum utilisation of resources,” Alluf said.

According to Dr SK Yadav, Deputy Director Horticulture at the Centre in Karnal’s Gharaunda, on an average each year about 25,000 farmers come to take lessons in high value crops at this centre alone where they are trained to grow vegetables and fruits with finesse. Nearly 6 million saplings of various varieties are also sold at each of the centres. And over the last four years, since the Karnal centre was set up, 2,500 farmers from Punjab and Haryana have started using Green-House farming or polycarbonate farming for higher yield and newer varieties.

Success of these centres has motivated States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, West Bengal and Goa to be part of the joint venture. According to Alluf, these States will be covered in the next phase between 2016 and 18. Besides, as a pilot project, Israeli experts will also be introducing sewer water recycling for irrigation purpose in Maharashtra’s Centre for Excellence in Aurangabad. Farmers will also be trained in post-harvest treatment of crop so that they are not under duress to sell them in market immediately after harvest at low prices.

“Target is to benefit farmers. It is demand driven which means the farmers decided what they want to grow our experts share with them innovation and technology,” Alluf said.


Source: The Pioneer 

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