BENGALURU: Israel can help the farmers of Karnataka increase productivity and thereby, double their income, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said here on Wednesday, as he virtually threw open Centres of Excellence in agriculture, along with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
A collaboration between the two countries in this sector will improve quality and profitability, he said. The centres are located in Kolar, Bagalkot and Dharwad, and will provide scientific inputs and methodologies. Giving the example of the mango, he said the Alphonso, Mallika and Raspuri are local mango varieties but farmers have long been complaining of dwindling profitability. Innovative solutions can make the mango crop better again, the CM said. Tomar said new methods would help not just production, but also post harvest management.
Israeli ambassador Ron Malka said the centres would help farm communities in India access them too. While the centre for mango cultivation is located in Kolar, the centre for pomegranate is in Bagalkot and the centre for vegetables is in Dharwad. The Bagalkot centre will introduce irrigation management based on precision agriculture through satellite imaging, fertigation and canopy management. Israeli Consul General Jonathan Zadka told The New Indian Express, “We have set up three centres in Karnataka which is very encouraging. It strengthens the collaboration between Israel and Indian farmers.’’