India’s Department of Biotechnology has started a special call for North East Region as a part of its programme to understand local issues of farmers and provide scientific solutions to those problems, it said. The Centre will work towards linking innovative agricultural technologies with the farms to benefit small and marginal farmers, especially women in the Northeastern region under its Biotech-KISAN programme, the Science & Technology ministry said.
The drive will specifically focus on the North East Region as it is predominantly agrarian, with 70 per cent of its workforce engaged in agriculture and allied sectors for livelihood, the Science and Technology ministry said. “The region produces merely 1.5 per cent of country’s food grain and continues to be a net importer of food grains even for its domestic consumption.
“The NE region has untapped potential to enhance the income of the farming population by promotion of location specific crops, horticultural and plantation crops, fisheries and livestock production,” the ministry said.
The Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) will be implemented in the North East Region (NER) with objective of linking available innovative agriculture technologies with the farm for the small and marginal farmers, especially women farmers of the region, the ministry said.
The hubs in NER will collaborate with the top scientific institutions across the country as well as State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) / Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) / existing state agriculture extension services / system and other farmers’ organizations in the NER for demonstrations of technologies and training of farmers, it added.
In a statement, the ministry said Mission Programme “Biotech – Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) is a scientist-farmer partnership scheme launched in 2017 for agriculture innovation with an objective to connect science laboratories with the farmers to find out innovative solutions and technologies to be applied at the farm level.
Under this scheme, so far 146 Biotech-KISAN Hubs have been established covering all 15 agroclimatic zones and 110 aspirational districts in the country, it said. The scheme has benefitted over two lakhs farmers so far by increasing their agriculture output and income. Over 200 entrepreneurships have also been developed in rural areas, it added.