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Israeli technique is giving a plug to Indian vegetable growers

Set up under the Indo-Israel Agriculture Work Plan for exchange of advanced farming technology, the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Protected Cultivation and Precision Farming on Vegetables at Vadrad village near Prantij in Sabarkantha district is providing the training and guidance in controlled farming techniques using net houses and seedlings developed in plug nurseries.

On January 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompanied by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the CoE at Vadrad to view the successful Plug Nursery farming.

According to JK Patel, Deputy Director, Gujarat Horticulture Department, the CoE was launched in 2015 and has so far supplied about 60 lakh seedlings to about 9,000 farmers across the State and in neighbouring Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

“We provide these seedlings at a token ₹1 [0.016 USD] per seedling. The purpose is to help farmers reduce the use of pesticides and fungicides by undertaking precision farming. This will also bring down the overall cost of farming. Also, timely sowing and early harvest make it commercially advantageous for them,” Patel said adding that the seedlings developed at the plug nursery start to grow from the first day of planting, unlike conventional seedlings, which take 7-8 days to reach the growth stage.

The CoE also provides one-day training to farmers on best practices of net-house farming and guidance on infrastructure for developing plug nurseries.

Read more at The Hindu Business Line (Rutam Vora)

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