1. Agriculture World

Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secy, Agri Ministry Visits CoE for Vegetables at Baramati, Pune

Dr. Likhi also paid a visit to the Dutch Green House at CoE, KVK Baramati, which aims to maximise crop production while using fewer resources such as water, pesticides, manpower, and so on, which not only adds value to the entrepreneurs but also improves the quality of the produce by removing residues.

Shivam Dwivedi
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secy, Agri Ministry at CoE for Vegetables at Baramati, Pune, Maharashtra
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secy, Agri Ministry at CoE for Vegetables at Baramati, Pune, Maharashtra

Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, met with farmers at the Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Vegetables in Baramati, District Pune, Maharashtra.

The primary goal of establishing the CoE is to create a demonstration hub for vegetable production and to transfer technologies to extension workers and farmers in the region through training and capacity building. Farmers and extension workers are being shown advanced technologies that are required to increase vegetable production and reduce supply chain losses (Field/ PHT/ Storage/ Transportation). Protected cultivation, hydroponics, improved seeds, and quality planting material, fertigation, Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and other techniques are examples of these techniques.

Other project objectives include the supply of high-quality vegetable planting material, the demonstration of hi-tech protected cultivation technologies in vegetable crops, the efficient use of water and fertigation through atomization, and the standardization of good agricultural practices to ensure higher yield and increased income for farmers. The CoE facilitated the training of various levels of officers, NGOs, private entrepreneurs, and others, paving the way for the development of value chains, job creation, and market intelligence to maximize farmer income.

The project's major technological intervention includes the production of pest and disease-free planting materials in a high-forced ventilated poly house, the use of an Italian media filling cum seeding machine for the production of planting material, the use of an automatic robot in the production of vegetable seedlings for irrigation and fertigation, the demonstration of soil less cultivation, European soil-less grow bags, vertical grow bags, exotic crops such as bell pepper, cherry tomato, beef tomatoes, and eggplant.

Capacity building programme for young entrepreneurs and FPOs, including India's first ToT Program (Training of Trainers) and Skill Development Training programmes, to introduce value chain management programme (Market Linkages) for Agriculture Produce commodity.

This Center also offers skill development training to needy people in order to encourage self-employment and the creation of technology awareness, which attracts many young people to agriculture. So far, seven Centres of Excellence (CoEs) for Indo-Dutch collaboration have been approved in four states. Two centres have been completed in the state of Maharashtra, and five more are in various stages of completion. In addition to these seven CoEs, there are three private CoEs. These 7 CoEs and 3 private CoEs are active in Maharashtra, Punjab, Jammu Kashmir, Kerala, and Karnataka, with a focus on horticulture crops, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and flowers.

Dr. Likhi also paid a visit to the Dutch Green House at CoE, KVK Baramati, which aims to maximize crop production while using fewer resources such as water, pesticides, manpower, and so on, which not only adds value to the entrepreneurs but also improves the quality of the produce by removing residues. This green-main house's focus is on demonstrating technologies under protected cultivation.

Dr. Likhi also reviewed the activities of the CoE in Baramati, during which the CoE's Director gave a detailed presentation. All seven CoEs in the region, as well as three private CoEs and Agri Start-Ups, gave presentations on the innovations and technologies they are using to reduce transaction costs and create better market linkages for farmers growing fruits and vegetables. During these interactions, Ministry officials, Indian Institute of Horticulture Research officials, Directors of all CoEs, ICAR State Horticulture Directors, and other stakeholders were connected via video conference.

Dr. Likhi directed all stakeholders to ensure that the technological demonstrations being carried out in the seven CoEs are widely disseminated in the villages surrounding the CoEs, particularly to benefit small and marginal farmers in their pursuit of profitable agriculture.

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