The Ministry of Science and Technology has launched two new schemes- Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) and Cattle Genomics for the benefit of farmers and farming community. This was informed by YS Chowdhary, Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
The Biotech-KISAN aims to understand the problems of water, soil, seed and market faced by the farmers and provide simple solutions to them. The scheme will be implemented in 15 agro-climatic zones of India in phased manner. It aims to link available science and technology to the farm by first understanding the problem of the local farmer and provide solutions to those problems.
The scheme is based on the fact that the working together, in close conjunction, of scientists and farmers is the only way to improve the working conditions of small and marginal farmers. The programme also aims to work with small and marginal farmers especially the woman farmer for better agriculture productivity through scientific intervention and evolving best farming practices in the Indian context.
The Biotech-KISAN will be implemented in the 15 agro-climatic zones which will cover all the states and it will also provide fellowships to farmers.
The Cattle Genomics Scheme:
Livestock contributes significantly to the livelihood of rural poor in our country and has enormous potential to reduce poverty. There is a predicted increase in demand for animal food products in India by 2020. Genetic improvement of livestock through traditional selection for increasing livestock productivity has major limitations. To overcome these, genomic selection has played a crucial role in livestock industry globally.
The Government has, therefore, decided to work on genome sequencing of indigenous cattle breeds and development of high density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips representing SNPs from all registered cattle breeds of India by involving various stake holders. This will reduce the cost and time interval of breeding programme in future and productivity of indigenous cattle will be enhanced. Initial work on cattle genomics will be carried out in selective research institutions.
The schemes are designed to increase productivity and yield from farm by active scientific interventions and education of scientific solutions. The work on cattle genomics will be carried out initially in selected research institutions.