The Center will strive to link innovative agricultural technologies to farms for the benefit of small and marginal farmers, especially women in the Northeast region as part of its Biotech-KISAN program, the S&T ministry said.
The Biotechnology Department has made a special appeal for the Northeast region as part of its program to understand the local problems of farmers and provide scientific solutions to these problems, he said.
This call focuses specifically on the Northeast region as it is predominantly agrarian, with 70% of its workforce engaged in agriculture and related sectors to earn a living, said the Ministry of Science and of Technology.
“The region produces only 1.5% of the country’s food grains and continues to be a net importer of food grains, even for domestic consumption.
“The northeast region has untapped potential to improve the incomes of the farming population by promoting location-specific crops, horticultural and plantation crops, fisheries and animal production,” the ministry said.
The Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) will be implemented in the North East region with the aim of connecting innovative agricultural technologies available on the farm to small and marginal farmers, especially women farmers in the region, the ministry said.
The NER poles will collaborate with the best scientific institutions in the country as well as with State Agricultural Universities (SAU) / Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) / existing agricultural extension services / system and other farmer organizations in NER for technology demonstrations and training of farmers, he added.
In a statement, the ministry said that the mission program “Biotech – Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) is a scientist-farmer partnership program launched in 2017 for agricultural innovation with the aim of connecting scientific laboratories with farmers to find innovative solutions and technologies to be applied at the farm level.
As part of this program, so far 146 Biotech-KISAN centers have been established, covering the 15 agro-climatic zones and 110 ambitious districts of the country, he said.
The program has so far benefited more than two lakhs of farmers by increasing their agricultural production and income. More than 200 businesses have also been developed in rural areas, he added.