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Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence for Vegetables and Flowers inaugurated in Kerala

Posted on: November 09, 2020 | Back | Print

Embassy of India
The Hague
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Press Release

 November 6, 2020

Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence for Vegetables and Flowers inaugurated in Kerala 

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.

Speaking after inaugurating the CoE, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the centre would help rejuvenate the agriculture sector in Kerala and will complement the many innovative technologies in floriculture and vegetable cultivation the  Netherlands has developed, which will be provided to farmers in the State through the centre.

Hon'ble Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said that this centre will not only benefit Kerala but the entire nation. This centre 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 programmes for officers for enhancing income of farmers. The inauguration of this centre has much relevance in Indian context.

In his keynote address, Jan-Kees Goet, Secretary General, Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality said that the Centers of Excellence are the backbone of the cooperation between the Dutch and the Indian Government. Training farmers, and getting them acquainted with modern technology, will advance their position in the supply chain, to the benefit of the economy, he said.  Mr. Goet also commended Ambassador of India to the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony for his tireless efforts to seal the plans for the Center and for being most active in advancing the interest of agricultural cooperation between the two countries.  He also mentioned that among the whole of the diplomatic corps in The Hague, Ambassador VenuRajamony has easily distinguished himself as the most enthusiastic promotor of agricultural relations and said that Ambassador has become a Center of Excellence in himself.

Other dignitaries who participated in the function included V S Sunilkumar, Minister for Agriculture, Kerala, Marten Van den Berg, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India andAmbassadorVenu Rajamony.

The CoE will be based in the Regional Agricultural Research Station of the Kerala Agricultural University at Ambalavayal in Wayanad District, Keralaand was set up at a cost of ?13 crore 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 programmes to farmers, entrepreneurs, and extension officerswill 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.The other infrastructure includes model open-field farms and a post-harvest technology centre showcasing post-harvest handling, storage, and marketing of produce for the benefit of 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.

The CoE is a showcase and knowledge repository of the best Dutch technical practices as relevant to the Indian context.



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