Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) is a Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology initiative that empowers farmers, especially women farmers. It aims to understand the problems of water, soil, seed and market faced by the farmers and provide simple solutions to them.
The Scheme is for farmers, developed by and with farmers, it empowers women, impacts locally, connects globally, is Pan-India, has a hub-and spoke model and stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation in farmers.
Objectives and Scope of coverage
Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) is being implemented in 15 agro-climatic zones of India in phased manner with the following objectives:
Linking available science and technology to the farm by first understanding the problem of the local farmer and provide solutions to those problems.
The working together, in close conjunction, of scientists and farmers is the only way to improve the working conditions of small and marginal farmers.
This programme 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
For Farmers: The Biotech-KISAN is a Farmer centric scheme launched by of the Department of Biotechnology, where scientists will work in sync with farmers to understand problems and find solutions.
By Farmers: Developed in consultation with the farmers. Soil, Water, Seed and Market are some key points that concern small and marginal farmers. Biotech-KISAN aims to link farmers, scientists and science institutions across the country in a network that identifies and helps solve their problems in a cooperative manner.
Empower women. The woman farmer is often neglected. It is important to empower the women farmer, help her meet her concerns for better seed, storage of seed and protection of the crops from disease and pest. The women farmer is also the prime caretaker of livestock and she is eager to combine traditional wisdom in handling the livestock and with current best practices, especially in the context of emerging livestock disease. The scheme includes the Mahila Biotech- KISAN fellowships, for training and education in farm practices, for women farmers. The Scheme also aims to support the women farmers/ entrepreneur in their small enterprises, making her a grass root innovator.
Connects Globally. Biotech-KISAN will connect farmers to best global practices; training workshops will be held in India and other countries. Farmers and Scientists will partner across the globe.
Impacts Locally. The scheme is targeted towards the least educated marginalised farmer; Scientists will spend time on farms and link communication tools to soil, water seed and market. The aim is to understand individual problems of the smallholding farmers and provide ready solutions.
Across India. Biotech KISAN will connect farmers with science in the 15 agro-climatic zones of the country in a manner, which constantly links problems with available solutions.
Hubs and Spoke. In each of these 15 regions, a Farmer organisation will be the hub connected to different science labs, Krishi Vigyan Kendra and State Agriculture Universities co-located in the region. The hub will reach out to the farmers in the region and connect them to scientists and institutions.
Farmers as Innovators. The hub will have tinkering lab, communication cell and will run year-long training, awareness, workshops and which will act as education demonstration units to encourage grass root innovation in the young as well as women farmers.
Communicating Best Practices There will be a communication set-up to make radio and TV programmes for local stations, as well as daily connectivity through social media.
Components of the programme
The Programme will provide support for following three components:
The Hub : Establishment of Biotech - KISAN Hub in each of 15 agro-climatic zones of the country under the leadership of a champion, who will act as a Facilitator. Each Hub will create a network by developing strong linkages with top quality scientific institutions / State Agri cultural Universities (SAUs) / Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) / existing state agriculture extension services / system and other Farmers’ organizations in the region as well as linkages with leading international institutions / organizations. Biotech-KISAN Hub will have a tinkering laboratory. The Hub will get financial assistance for initially 2 years of Rs 60 lakhs per year and on the basis of a review for additional 3 years
Partnering Institutes: The activities of the partnering institute will include:
Conduct training programmes for farmers in laboratories of scientific research institutions.
Training programmes for scientists in agricultural farms
Budget for each collaborating institution / KVKs etc. is Rs 5.00 lakhs per year for each specific activity as defined in the application.
Research projects: If scientists during the course of these programmes identify a problem, which would require larger funding; it would be possible for them to submit the research project proposal to the Programme for additional funding. The proposal will be considered by the relevant Expert Committee / Task Force of the Programme and based on the genesis of the project and the solution hypothesised, additional funds may be provided.
International Training: Short - term Training (STT) Programmes will be developed by DBT in partnership with international organisations / universities, where Farmers will be exposed to best global farm management and practices. Depending on the activities carried out by scientists/farmers in India; selected groups will be sponsored by DBT for international STT. The current collaborating universities are Cambridge University, UK; Wageningen University, Netherlands and others are likely to be added.