The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), which is regulated under the Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed the Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) scheme for the welfare of the farmers. This scheme aims to work with small and marginal farmers for better agricultural productivity through scientific intervention and evolving best farming practices across the country. In this article, we look at the Biotech-KISAN scheme in detail.
Biotech-KISAN is a scientist-farmer partnership scheme developed for agriculture innovation through participatory research. The main objective of the Bio-KISAN scheme is to link science laboratories directly with the farmers in the state in order to create innovative technologies and applied at the farm level.
Objectives of the Scheme
The objectives of the biotech-KISAN scheme are listed below:
- Biotech-Kisan is being implemented in 15 agro-climatic regions of India in a phased manner with the following objectives:
- To link science and technology to the farm by understanding the problem of the small and marginal farmer and provide a solution to them.
- To work together in close conjunction of scientists and farmers to improve the conditions of small and marginal farmers.
- To enhance agriculture productivity through scientific intervention and evolving best farming practices throughout the country.
The salient farmers of the scheme are as follows:
- Biotech-KISAN is a centric scheme which is developed by the biotechnology department, where scientist will work with farmers by understanding the problems and finding the solution to the farmer’s issues.
- The biotech-Kisan scheme aims to link farmers, scientists and science institutions all over the country through the network that identifies and helps to solve their issue in a cooperative manner.
- Also, biotech-KISAN serves to support the women farmers/ entrepreneur in their small enterprises, making her a grass root innovator.
- Mahila Biotech-KISAN fellowships programme was included under this scheme to train and educate the farm practices for women farmers.
- Biotech KISAN will link farmers with science in the 15 agro-climatic regions of the country in a way, which constantly links problems with available solutions. In each of these 15 agro-climatic regions, a Farmer organisation will be the hub which is linked to different science labs, Krishi Vigyan Kendra and State Agriculture Universities co-located in the region. This hub will reach the farmers in the region and connect them to scientists and institutions.
- The hub will consist of tinkering lab, communication cell and will organise training, workshops, awareness programmes to encourage innovation in the young as well as women farmers.
The below following criteria must be satisfied to participate under the scheme:
- Any individual working in a public or private institution, university, foundation or society who has a good track of record of leading the projects in the area related to the farming.
- The individual must be knowledgeable about the problems of farmers in partnership with 5-8 research institutions or universities.
- Any institution which posses the necessary infrastructure facilities and is committed to undertaking the programs under farmer-oriented are eligible.
The host institution applying for this scheme should overcome the following conditions:
- A functional laboratory.
- A certificate of performance either by farmers, DSIR recognition, ICAR, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, voluntary NGO status or recognition for service to the farmer is required.
- A report of financial and technical implementation of at least 2 projects financed by any government agencies related to dissemination of proposed technologies and training of a large number of farmers in skill development is necessary while applying for the scheme.
Components of the Scheme
The biotech-KISAN Scheme will provide support for the following three components:
Under the leadership of a champion, the Biotech-KISAN hub will be established in the agro-climatic zones of the country. Each hub will form a network by developing direct linkages with high-quality scientific institutions or / State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), existing state agriculture extension services/system, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and any other Farmers’ organizations in the region linked with leading international organizations/institutions. Biotech-KISAN Hub will have a tinkering laboratory. Also, the assistance for the biotech-KISAN hub will be provided initially for the two years with the aggregate amount of Rs. 60 lakhs per year and based on a review for an additional three years will be provided.
Note: A hub would also have a laboratory for global research, a sort of place for tinkering.
The activities carried out by the partnering institute are given below:
- To conduct training programmes for the welfare of farmers in laboratories of scientific research institutions.
- To conduct training programmes for scientists in agricultural farms.
Note: The assistance to the extent of Rs.5 lakhs per year will be provided for collaborating institution or Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) as per the activity conducted by them.
During these programmes, the scientist would require financial assistance to identify and solve the problem. The farmer can avail this assistance by submitting the project proposal to the programme for additional training. The relevant expert committee will consider the proposal submitted, or task force of the programme based on the project and the solution hypothesised the additional funds would be provided.
Under International training, short-term Training (STT) programmes will be developed by DBT in partnership with international organisations or universities, where farmers will be exposed to best global farm management and practises. Based on the activities carried out bt the scientists, farmers in India, selected groups will be sponsored by the biotechnology department for international training. The current collaborating universities are Cambridge University, Wageningen University, UK, Netherlands and others are likely to be added.
Application Procedure for the Scheme
To apply for the Biotech-KISAN scheme, follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: The applicant has to access the official website of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to download the application form.
Step 2: Click on “Forms & Download” tab, which is under the funding mechanism.
Step 3: Select the form for submission of R &D and demonstration projects from the list of forms:
Step 4: Fill the application form with the mandatory details and send the duly filled form to the relevant authorities as required.
The application form for the Biotech-KISAN scheme is reproduced below in the pdf format for quick reference:Proforma_R&Dnew