Under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Centers of Excellence (CoEs) are being established in various states through bilateral cooperation and research institutes. These CoEs serve as demonstration and training centres for latest technologies in the field of horticulture. The CoEs also serve as source of planting material for fruits and vegetable seedlings for protected cultivation and used for transfer of technology and knowhow in diverse areas such as post-harvest management, irrigation and fertigation, plant protection, introduction of new varieties, pollination etc.
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has approved 49 CoEs till now, out of which following three CoEs have been approved on March 9. The CoE for dragon fruit will be set up by Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru, Karnataka at its experimental station in Hirehalli. The purpose of this centre is to develop latest production technology as per the international standard and off-season production and demonstration of these technologies for high yield production.
It will focus to develop high performance variety with improved yield, nutrient use efficiency, nutritional quality, tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses, standardisation of propagation techniques, distribution of quality planting material through public participatory approach, development of protocol for post-harvesting handling and storage to reduce post-harvest losses and promote export to distant markets, development of value-added products and processes for product diversification and higher revenue realisation, dissemination of developed technologies to the farmers & other stakeholders through training, field visits, etc.
The CoE for mango and vegetables will be set up at Jajpur, Odisha. It generate knowledge in nursery management, cultivation practices, production of high quality and large quantity of planting material of mango and vegetable crops. The centre will also focus on demonstration of new varieties, Israeli agro technology in irrigation, fertigation and plant protection along with precision agriculture and post-harvest management technology.
The third CoE for vegetables and flowers will come up in Ponda, Goa. It will focus on demonstration of hi-tech nursery management system with advanced production technology through automated irrigation and fertigation system for production of disease-free and healthy vegetable seedlings of improved varieties of vegetables and flowers suitable for Goa.