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Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Karnal a Model For Indo-Israeli Cooperation

Nearly 2000 farmers have benefited through this partnership in Haryana alone. More than 1800 acres of land is now under protected cultivation in the state.

Zeba Warsi | CNN-News18

Updated:July 5, 2017, 5:54 PM IST
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Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Karnal a Model For Indo-Israeli Cooperation
Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Gharaunda of Haryana’s Karnal district.
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New Delhi: Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Gharaunda of Haryana’s Karnal district is the first Indo-Israel agricultural project in the country. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues his historic visit to Israel, CNN-News visited this facility, which is a model of Indo-Israeli cooperation.

With this facility, scientists from Israel brought the technology of protected cultivation to Haryana. Currently, there are 26 such Indo-Israel centers in the country.

Protected cultivation enables high-quality vegetables like cherry tomatoes, Cucumber, brinjal, chilli, colour Capsicum, green capsicums and so on to be grown round the year. They are cultivated in high-tech polyhouses, naturally-ventilated polyhouses, walk-in tunnels with controlled climate and provisions for micro irrigation along with drip Irrigation for unseasonal crop cultivation and high yield.

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"The Centre of Excellence for Vegetables is an Indo-Israel project approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India under the National Horticulture Mission Scheme. This was established way back in 2009 at a cost of Rs 600 lakh and comes under bilateral agreement between Government of India and Government of Israel," says Deepak Kumar, Deputy Director, CEV.

Nearly 2000 farmers have benefited through this partnership in Haryana alone. More than 1800 acres of land is now under protected cultivation in the state.

"Farmers who would profits ranging between Rs 70,000 to 1 lakh per annum on their rice and wheat cultivation are now earning profits upto Rs 7 lakhs per annum die to the high quality yield,” Kumar added.

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The project has four high-tech polyhouses, two naturally ventilated polyhouses, 10 walk-in tunnels along with other provisions for horticulture and floriculture. All of these provide different
levels of protective cultivation. The cost of installing a high-tech polyhouse is expensive for farmers. They give seeds to the 4 HTPs in government nurseries to get maximum quality saplings. The cheaper alternatives that are being adopted by farmers in Haryana are naturally-ventilated polyhouses and anti-insect net houses.

“The cost per square metre for a naturally-ventilated Poly House is around Rs 850 only. The Central government also provides a 50% subsidy on this. In addition, Haryana government also offers a subsidy of 15%. This is why, thousands of farmers are shifting from traditional farming to protected cultivation,” said Ram Swaroop Poonia, project officer.

Israeli scientists frequently visit these centres to impart training to new farmers and for consistent inspection. "This technology can be a game changer in high quality agriculture. Israel has taken a keen interest in sustaining these bilateral projects. We are also invited for visits for regular workshops,” said Amit Mattu, irrigation officer.

The objective is to increasing the quality of vegetables with minimum use of chemicals. "The protected environment ensures that fertiliser costs reduce by 90%. The produce is of high quality, disease free healthy seedlings which yield 4 to 5 times higher produce," Mattu said.
| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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