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Important Facts For Prelims

Biotech-KISAN Programme

  • 19 Sep 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

As per the recent information shared by the Union Minister of Science and Technology in Lok Sabha, Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) programme plays an important role in taking innovative biotechnologies to the farmers.

Key Points

  • Biotech-KISAN programme is a farmer-centric scheme for farmers, developed by and with farmers under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • It is a pan-India program, following a hub-and-spoke model and stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation in farmers and empowers women farmers.
    • It has a unique feature to identify and promote local farm leadership in both genders. Such leadership helps to develop science-based farming besides facilitating the transfer of knowledge.
  • Aim: To understand the problems of water, soil, seed and market faced by the farmers and provide simple solutions to them.
    • The programme links available science and technology to the farm by first understanding the problem of the local farmer and then providing scientific solutions to those problems.
  • 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.
    • Currently, there are a total of eight Biotech-KISAN Hubs in different Agro-climatic Zones.

Biotechnology in Agriculture

  • Government supports research institutes, central and state agriculture universities for competitive research and development and demonstration activities in agriculture biotechnology including organic farming.
    • It has been supported across the country including Aspirational Districts.
    • During the last three years, approximately Rs. 310 crores have been invested in supporting the use of biotechnology in agriculture.
    • The Integrated Human Resource Development Programme under the Department of Biotechnology has been implemented to provide biotechnology trained personnel in various fields including agriculture.
  • Alternative of Conventional Farming:
    • The understanding of genetics and biotechnology could enable farmers to obtain maximum yield from their fields and to minimise the use of fertilisers and chemicals so as to avoid their harmful effects on the environment.
    • Genetically Modified Organisms’ (GMO) use is a possible solution and an alternative path to conventional farming.
      • GMOs have made crops more tolerant to abiotic stresses, reduced reliance on chemical pesticides, reduced post-harvest losses, increased efficiency of mineral usage by plants and enhanced nutritional value of food.
      • For example, Bt cotton, Bt Brinjal, etc.
    • Genetically Modified Biopesticides are biologically based agents used for the control of plant pests.
      • They can be living organisms (nematodes or micro-organisms) or naturally occurring substances, such as plant extracts or insect pheromones which can provide resistance to insects without the need for chemical insecticides.

Source: PIB

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