Kerala opens Indo-Dutch CoE for vegetables and flowers

The CM of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the CoE in a virtual conclave

Image source: Shutterstock

Image source: Shutterstock

An Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Vegetables and Flowers was inaugurated on 5th November 2020 in the Wayanad District of Kerala. The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the CoE in a virtual conclave. Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar presided over the function.

Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said that “This center will not only benefit Kerala but the entire nation. This center will mainly showcase the technological achievements of the Netherlands by activities such as production and distribution of quality planting materials & seeds to farmers.  It will showcase post-harvest handling, storage and marketing of produce for farmers. It will offer training programs for officers for enhancing the income of farmers. The inauguration of this centre has much relevance in the Indian context.”

The CoE will be based in the Regional Agricultural Research Station of the Kerala Agricultural University at Ambalavayal in Wayanad District, Kerala and was set up at a cost of 13 crores provided by the central and state governments and technical assistance from the Dutch government. Activities such as open-field precision farming of vegetables and flowers, production and distribution of quality planting materials to farmers, and training programs to farmers, entrepreneurs, and extension officers will be held at the centre in the first phase. A tissue culture laboratory has been set up as part of the project for producing good quality planting materials. The Centre will also explore possibilities in Agri-Horti tourism in the district.The idea is to transform Wayanad into a hub of floriculture.

As many as five Netherlands-model polyhouse nurseries and four Indian model polyhouses have been set up at the centre for large-scale production of flowers and distribution of quality seeds and transplants to farmers.

This CoE is set up as part of the Indo-Dutch Action Plan and in follow up to the letter of intent signed by Ambassador of the Netherlands to India and Minister for Agriculture, Kerala during the occasion of the Royal visit of His Majesty, King of the Netherlands to Kerala in October 2019.

This will be the second CoE being set up under the Indo-Dutch Joint Action Plan. The first CoE for vegetables, in Baramati, Maharashtra opened in 2017.

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