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Bagalkot Pomegranate Farmers Soon Get Israeli Lessons to Increase Yield

BENGALURU: Bagalkot district's pomegranate farmers and its neighbourhood will soon get lessons from Israel to increase their yield.

The Indo-Israel Agriculture Centre, launched in Bagalkot last week, hopes to raise yield by 30%-40%. Pomegranate is widely cultivated here and the yield is about 10 tonnes per hectare.

The centre is part of many global endeavours taken up by Mashav, Israel’s agency for international development co-operation in the ministry of foreign affairs which focuses on agriculture and rural development, socio-economic development and education. In Karnataka, Mashav has been instrumental in working with mango growers in Kolar and vegetable cultivators in Dharwad.

The Bagalkot centre has been provided 10 acres by the Karnataka agriculture department where techniques developed by Yuval Elazar, culture engineer, Mashav Agricultural Training Centre, are tested.

Siddu Baragimath, manager, Centre of Excellence, Bagalkot said, “We’re trying to increase the overall production of pomegranate here by different methods taught by Elazar.”

The three important techniques being tried focus on increasing number of saplings in a given area. While the T-trenching method allows you to plant over 1,000 saplings in 0.7 hectares, the Y- trenching method allows you to grow 530 plants within 0.64 hectares. In the single-pole method, you can grow over 300 trees in 6 hectares.

Baragimath said, “The Elazar techinques are different from those being currently used in Bagalkot region and they’ll definitely help farmers because they can see a better yield.”

Dana Krush, deputy chief of mission, Isreali embassy, said the new methods will soon yield results and the focus will be on getting farmers to use drip irrigation extensively.

TN Prakash Kammaradi, chairman, Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission said that, the state government allocated 90% subsidy for drip irrigation equipment in the micro irrigation scheme which enables every farmer to implement it to boost production. But only 10%-15% ryots are using it.


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