The Ministry of Science and Technology has issued a Special Call for the NorthEast Region as a part of its Mission Programme “Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN)”.
- It is a scientist-farmer partnership scheme launched in 2017.
- It is a pan-India program, following a hub-and-spoke model and stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation in farmers and empowers women farmers.
- The Biotech-KISAN hubs are expected to fulfil the technology required to generate agriculture and bio-resource related jobs and better livelihood ensuring biotechnological benefits to small and marginal farmers.
- Farmers are also exposed to best global farm management and practices.
- This is a farmer-centric scheme developed by and with farmers under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
- It was launched for agriculture innovation with an objective to connect science laboratories with the farmers to find out innovative solutions and technologies to be applied at farm level.
- 146 Biotech-KISAN Hubs have been established covering all 15 agroclimatic zones and 110 Aspirational Districts in the country.
- 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.
- The present call specifically focuses on the North East Region (NER) as it is predominantly agrarian with 70% of its workforce engaged in agriculture and allied sector for livelihood.
- The region produces merely 1.5 % of the country’s food grain and continues to be a net importer of food grains even for its domestic consumption.
- The NER 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 Biotech-KISAN 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 in the NER for demonstrations of technologies and training of farmers.