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"Over 50 Biotech-Kisan Hubs Funded by Dept. of Biotechnology": Jitendra Singh

According to Union Minister Jitendra Singh, the Department of Biotechnology has funded 51 Biotech-Kisan hubs, 44 of which are operational.

Shivam Dwivedi
Biotech-KISAN links Indian farmers with the best scientists & institutions in the world.
Biotech-KISAN links Indian farmers with the best scientists & institutions in the world.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh announced on Wednesday that the Department of Biotechnology has funded fifty-one Biotech-Kisan hubs, forty-four of which are operational. These hubs are located in the country's 15 agro-climatic zones and conduct activities in 169 districts.

Dr. Jitendra Singh stated in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha that the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is implementing a farmers-centric Mission Programme called the 'Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network' (Biotech-KISAN).

The programme links Indian farmers with the best scientists and institutions in the world. According to the Minister, the program's goal is to work with small and marginal farmers to improve agricultural productivity through scientific intervention and developing best farming practices.

"The core activities of the programme are understanding the problems of the local farmer, scouting available technologies/solutions, demonstration and scale-up programmes, the creation of a strong Scientists-Farmers Interaction Platform; farmer training programmes and immersion programmes for scientists, communication through radio/TV and social media, thematic fellowship for selected farmers, and special solution-driven thematic fellowships to women farmers," according to an op-ed.

The program's intended benefits are to increase farmer income through technological interventions and to develop bio-based enterprises in rural areas. Over 4 lakh farmers have benefited (directly or indirectly) from the programme by increasing their agricultural output and income. The programme has also been successful in developing 200 rural entrepreneurs.

The Department has so far contributed Rs. 9554.146 lakhs to the programme, according to the statement. Furthermore, according to officials, the Ministries/Departments of the Government of India are implementing various programmes for direct linkage between science laboratories and farmers in the country.

"The Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE)/Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is supporting 731 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and implementing programmes such as Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav (MGMG), the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP), and farmer FIRST," the statement continued.

Through training and skill development programmes on various aspects of agriculture, science, and technology, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories CIMAP (Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants) and National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow (NBRI) provide technical support and advice to farmers. In addition to Biotech-Kisan, the Department assists farmers through its societal programme, according to Singh.

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