Shillong: In collaboration with Israel, the government of Meghalaya will set up two Centres of Excellence (CoE) in the state to improve and promote the livelihood of farmers. The first one will be set up for vegetables at Jongksha village in East Khasi Hils, and the second one will be set up for citrus fruits at Dawagre in East Garo Hills. Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma informed about the same after a meeting with the representatives of Israel led by Israel Ambassador to India Ron Malka.
The Meghalaya Government entered a partnership with the Government of Israel to establish these CoEs in the state to improve and promote the livelihood of farmers.
Speaking about the financial implications of setting up the two centres, Sangma said that talks for setting up the centres are in the advanced stage with the Central Government. Centre has a rough estimate of Rs 10 crore for setting up of each CoE.
Sangma said that the state cannot get the maximum benefit and profit to the farmers because of the lack of technology and research. "We feel that with the support and collaboration with the Israel Government, which has been a leader in agriculture technology in the world, we will go a long way in enhancing productivity and earnings of all farmers in the state," he said.
Meghalaya has passed the special milestone by becoming a part of the family of states under the Indo-Israeli agriculture project, said Ambassador Malka.
There are 29 CoEs under the Indo-Israeli agriculture project all over India. Malka said that they will bring their latest technology, practices and advance system that they used for advance agriculture and water management.
Malka also highlighted that Meghalaya has a huge potential, and the Indo-Israeli agriculture project would enable farmers to add value and shape a competitive advantage of their agricultural produce. "We will create new kinds of crops and cultivation through the CoE. We have seen that these centres become self-sufficient within two years based on the experience from the other CoEs in the country," Malka further added.
On Monday, Malka met with the CM of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal and has collaborated with Assam Government to set up the Centre of Excellence for Vegetables Protected Cultivation in Assam.