Biotech Kisan And Cattle Genomics: Impacts for Farmers’ Lives
Biotech Kisan and Cattle Genomics are the most recent farmer-centric initiatives that the Ministry of Science and Technology has taken up. These are the two developmental programs by the Government that are aimed at bringing direct and positive changes in the life of the common people. These two programs of the Government are the perfect examples of the ways science has been impacting rural livelihood. Quite similar to the rural community, the initiative by the Ministry has brought in the much needed motivation for the scientist community to work for the agricultural sector of the country.
What is Biotech-Kisan?
Biotech-Kisan is a program that is targeted at the farmers of the country, especially the women farmers and aims at their empowerment. In India farmers could generate major income through horticulture practices as well as cash crops. However, due to climatic vagaries, unstable markets, and crop diseases farmers often do not get benefitted with these options. It has been seen that the farmers are eager to fight these problems in the most scientific manner.
Under the scheme the agricultural scientists of the country will work closely with the farmers to understand different crop and farming related issues and find suitable scientific solutions. Scientists, farmers, and reputed scientific institutions across the country are linked to work in a cooperative manner. Together they will solve issues related to seeds, water, soil, and markets.
How does Biotech-Kisan helps in women empowerment?
Biotech-Kisan works towards specially the empowerment of women farmers of the country. They are often the most neglected of the clan. They will get all possible support and help for storage of seeds, protection of crops, and availability of better seeds. In Indian villages, the women farmers are also the caretakers of cattle. Thus, they will get assistance on the current and best practices for handling livestock. Livestock diseases, nutrition, and better care are possible through proper scientific knowledge. The scheme also includes Mahila Biotech Kisan fellowships. The women folks will be given proper training and education in livestock keeping and farming practices. The scheme also helps the women in their entrepreneurship initiatives and provides them support at the very grass root levels.
How is Biotech impacting farmers globally?
It is an initiative that is connecting the Indian farmers to the best of global farming practices. Training sessions will be held at both Indian as well as global locations. The main aim of the program is to expand the reach of the poor and marginalized farmers. Ready solutions and scientific techniques will be targeted at the farmers. There will be 15 agro-climatic zones and each will have a farmer organization. These will connect the farmers to the scientific labs and bring the best solutions to them. There is lot more such practices on the agenda set by the Government.
What is Cattle Genomics and how is it going to impact India?
Livestock keeping and breeding forms one of the main means of livelihood of the rural poor. It has also been predicted that there will be an increase in the demand for food for livestock by the year 2020. As the Indian farmers are facing challenges in quality breeding of indigenous livestock, selective breeding is the best answer. Genomic selection using scientific methods will lead to high-yielding resilient animals. Moreover, through scientific selective breeding it will be possible to form disease-resistant livestock.
Through scientific breeding and genomic selection, the following will be possible to achieve:
- Selective breeding of hardy livestock
- Livestock that provides high yields
- Genetically better livestock leading to a growth in productivity
- Through genomic selection it will be possible to bring better quality livestock in the market
- This process will also lead to the curation of high-density DNA chips. It will reduce the cost as well as the time interval of livestock breeding in future.
Future prospects of the two programs
These two are the most innovative initiatives taken by the Government of India. While the Biotech Kisan aims at the development of agriculture, the cattle Genomics will help to improve the livestock. Both agriculture and animal rearing have been the two most prominent source of income of the rural population of India. It was definitely necessary to bring scientific innovation and solution to these sectors. It is therefore a matter of time to see whether the implementation of these two programs will be successful. Impact of the two schemes will definitely have positive impact on the milk production. The agricultural yield of the country is also expected to increase significantly with scientific intervention in agriculture.