Meghalaya 8th October: The Meghalaya Gov has collaborated with Israel to improve farmer’s livelihood. The joint force will be setting up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on high-value vegetables found within the state, to promote and improve the livelihoods of farmers. The CoE is entrusted with the vital role of tapping the various bio-diversity and resources available in Meghalaya, in terms of its soil and agro-climatic conditions.

The CoE will further branch into expanding various aspects which contribute to the State’s revenue, such as tourism potential. A statement from the meeting that was held today stated that the State has a gene pool of important vegetables, fruits and plants and their potential in contributing to the economy will be looked into. The CoE will also generate seedlings through Quality Planting Materials, giving it a meaningful impact.

The meeting was held via video conference with representatives from Israel and senior officials from the State agriculture department. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was also present. He instructed the concerned department to focus on research on quality seedlings and planting materials. He also stressed on the need to improve market linkages, instead of only upgrading production and quality, to increase the reach. He instructed to explore the potential for crossing over to various global markets, especially Bangladesh.

The Meghalaya state Gov looks forward to the benefit in collaborating with Israel. It is supposed to offer wide expertise in terms of fustigation, protected cultivation, quality planting materials, etc. besides bringing technological support and know-how. It will also assist in the process of creating facilities for water harvesting and conservation. It will also deal with the marketing issue by setting up State of the Art Packing House.

The initiative will come into action in two phases. Firstly the focus will solely be on seasonal and high-value vegetables and water management. And secondly, the focus will be on expansion of the research and development of citrus fruits.