Mangeana (Sirsa), August 27
After achieving food sufficiency through the Green Revolution, the country is now eyeing a second revolution to transition to sustainable agriculture and diversification of the food basket.
The Centre of Excellence for Fruits at Mangeana in Sirsa is one of the 20-odd Indo-Israeli agriculture projects in the country helping India achieve its goal.
Israel is way ahead of India in the use of technology in agriculture and horticulture and, resultantly, in productivity.
Itzhak Kosto, an Israeli expert from its Ministry of Agriculture, held a two-day ‘Pomegranate Seminar’ at the centre to update scientists and farmers on fertigation – supplying fertilizers to plants by mixing it in drip irrigation — pest and disease management, nursery knowhow and post-harvest practices
Kosto said farmers in Israel produced 35 metric tonne (MT) pomegranate per hectare as against 20-25 MT in India. Israel grows nearly 60,000 MT of the fruit and exports nearly half of it, making it one of the world’s biggest exporters.
India grows one-third of the world’s pomegranates and is the largest producer in the world, but merely 3 per cent of the fruit is exported.
This is primarily due to a larger domestic market and to some extent due to better quality of pomegranates grown in Israel. Maharashtra is the country’s largest producer of pomegranate and accounts for 80 per cent of India’s yield.
Scientists from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and farmers from Sirsa and adjoining districts participated on the seminar that concluded today. Pawan Verma, project officer at the Centre of Excellence for Fruits, said they were working to develop four pomegranate varieties Ganesha 137, Bhagwa, Mridula and Wonderful.
Showing the way
* Israeli farmers produce 35 metric tonne (MT) pomegranate per hectare as against 20-25 MT in India
* Israel grows nearly 60,000 MT of the fruit and exports nearly half of it, making it one of the world’s biggest exporters
* India grows one-third of the world’s pomegranates and is the largest producer in the world, but merely 3 per cent of the fruit is exported