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IN: Karnataka to use Israeli technologies to boost horticulture

Under the Indo-Israel agriculture project, Karnataka would use Israeli technologies to increase horticulture production in the southern state, an official said on Wednesday. "Under the project, three Centres of Excellence (CoE) have been set up to improve and boost production of mangoes at Kolar, pomegranate at Bagalkote and vegetables at Dharwad," said the official.

The three centers were virtually unveiled jointly by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi and state Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa here. "The three CoEs in the state are part of 29 such centers in operation in 12 states across the country to use advanced Israeli agro-technology tailored to local conditions," the official said in a statement.

The project is being implemented under the government-to-government (G2G) cooperation between the Agriculture Ministry's mission for integrated development of horticulture division and Israel's agency for international development cooperation. "The CoEs will demonstrate best practices and train the growers to choose and adopt the technology that suits them to boost output and double income," said the official.

For instance, the CoE at Kolar will generate new varieties of mangoes by adopting best cultivation practices and using Israeli rootstocks, based on commercial hi-tech nursery management. "The center will define canopy management guidelines to rejuvenate old trees and plant new young orchards. It will also implement drip-irrigation and fertigation systems for optimal water use," said the official.

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