Bayer Crop Sciences Limited, a global leader in agricultural technologies, and the ICAR-National Research Centre on Pomegranate (NRCP), Solapur, India, have entered into a research collaboration, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
This partnership aims to advance the development of the Integrated Pest & Disease management schedule (IDIPM) for producing export-quality pomegranates and establish a model pomegranate orchard at the NRCP facility in Solapur.
Dr. Rajiv Marathe, Director of ICAR-NRCP, and Yogesh Mohite, Crop Lead Horticulture at Bayer Crop Sciences India, signed the MoU, representing their respective organizations.
In his address, Dr. Marathe emphasized the importance of the MoU for enhancing public-private collaboration in the development of cash crops like pomegranate. He highlighted this agreement’s significant role in aiding pomegranate farmers aiming to export their produce to the European market. He also underlined the production, protection, and processing technologies ICAR-NRCP developed to benefit pomegranate farmers.
Under the MoU, ICAR-NRCP will leverage Bayer’s support to establish a model orchard for technology demonstrations. They will also collaborate to create and assess the IDIPM schedule, adhering to the European Union (EU) guidelines for Maximum Residue Level (MRL) and Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI) for export-quality pomegranate production.
The IDIPM schedule, which will comply with EU and USA standards for pomegranate export, will be evaluated for two seasons at the NRCP orchard and on four farmers’ fields starting from the third year. The project also includes capacity-building activities for farmers and officials tailored to meet their needs.