Israel to set up three COEs in Maharashtra

Mumbai: Israel is setting up three Centres of Excellence (COEs) in Maharashtra, which will focus on citrus fruit, pomegranate and mango production. "The first centre will be set up in Nagpur for citrus, second one in Rahuri in Ahmednagar district for pomegranate and another at Dapoli in the Konkan region for mangoes," Israel Consul General Orna Sagiv told PTI here.

They are part of the 27 such centres, planned under an Indo-Israel initiative, being set up in seven states where farmers will be taught about advanced technologies.
Each CoE will be connected to the respective state`s Agriculture Ministry, agricultural universities and research centres. Applied research, and not mere theory, will be the focus of these high-tech facilities.

"At these centres, we will basically train the trainers. We cannot train every farmer but we can train the trainers and hopefully it will get to the farmers," she said.

"We started with Haryana last year (a centre for vegetables has been set up in Gharaunda near Karnal). The second state is Maharashtra," Sagiv said.

Israeli authorities are working "very closely" with the Ministry of Agriculture in Maharashtra, she said. "We hope it will contribute to productivity."

The project envisages experts from both countries working together. Israeli experts will help their Indian counterparts spread the message, train those who will impart the necessary knowledge to the farmers and help create a cadre of good, experienced teachers.