Karnataka will soon set up on-stream programmes to unveil new vegetable and fruit varieties developed by the scientists of the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR). As per the statements of state minister for horticulture R Shankar, a separate budgetary allocation was made to launch these varieties to the farmers across Karnataka.

“The IIHR scientists have developed some of these varieties and these need to be availed to the farmers. The government is striving to introduce these varieties along with the modern technology developed by the scientists through the 715 farmer contact centres,” he declared.

Stating that Karnataka is the 8th state in the nation to diversify the cultivation of horticulture crops after Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Punjab, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra, he anticipated that it would soon gain the ‘numero uno’ status.

Horticulture has been one of the rapidly growing sectors within the larger agriculture activities in the country and Karnataka is at the forefront. There is a necessity to encourage organic farming in production of different horticultural commodities with the aim of promoting exports and enhance returns. Therefore, there is a grave need to develop technology for organic farming and spread awareness on the benefits it offers. This demands standardization of technologies for producing vermi-compost, biofertiliser, mycorrhizae and bio pesticides for different crops. There is also a requirement to develop guidelines for this purpose and designate agencies for accreditation of such produce meeting international requirements, he further added.

Also, the minister called on the horticulture department officials to set up a separate market for floriculture which grows in eminence for the state on lines similar to that of vegetables and fruits. He also urged for responsibility not only in production and product standards but also in their inspection and quality control in fruits and vegetables.

IIHR had also forayed into four memorandum of understanding with four companies for commercialization of technology developed by its scientists. These companies were across Bangalore (Karnataka), Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.


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