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Biotech – KISAN

Biotech - KISAN

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.


  • Connect local farmers with the latest science and technology to tackle their specific challenges and offer effective solutions.
  • Foster collaboration between scientists and farmers to enhance the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.
  • Focus on supporting small and marginal farmers, with a special emphasis on women farmers, to boost agricultural productivity through scientific methods and the development of optimal farming techniques tailored to the Indian environment.

Key facts

  • This program is designed by farmers, for farmers, with the aim of empowering women and making a local impact while fostering global connections. It operates throughout India and follows a hub-and-spoke model to facilitate entrepreneurship and innovation among farmers.
  • The Biotech-KISAN initiative seeks to create a network that brings together farmers, scientists, and research institutions from across the country. Its goal is to collaboratively identify and solve agricultural challenges.
  • A key aspect of the scheme is the Mahila Biotech-KISAN fellowships, which provide training and education in farming practices specifically for women. Additionally, the scheme supports women farmers and entrepreneurs in their small-scale ventures, nurturing them as grassroots innovators.
  • Biotech-KISAN aims to expose farmers to the best agricultural practices worldwide through training workshops held both in India and internationally. This encourages partnerships between farmers and scientists on a global scale.
  • The scheme focuses on reaching out to the least educated and marginalized farmers. Scientists actively engage with farmers, using various communication tools to address specific challenges related to soil, water, seeds, and market access.
  • Biotech-KISAN operates in the 15 agro-climatic zones of India, connecting farmers with relevant solutions tailored to their specific regions.
  • The hub organizations serve as educational centers, equipped with tinkering labs and communication cells. They conduct year-long training, awareness, and workshops to promote grassroots innovation, particularly among young and female farmers.
  • To ensure widespread dissemination of information, the scheme utilizes various media channels, including radio, TV, and social media platforms, to keep farmers connected and informed on a daily basis.

Components of the programme

The Programme will provide support for following three components:

    Establishment of Biotech-KISAN Hubs: In each of the 15 agro-climatic zones across the country, there will be a Biotech-KISAN Hub led by a champion who will serve as a facilitator. These hubs aim to create networks by forging strong connections with top scientific institutions, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), existing state agriculture extension services, and local farmers’ organizations. Additionally, they will establish links with leading international institutions and organizations. Each hub will also feature a tinkering laboratory. Initially, these hubs will receive financial assistance of Rs 60 lakhs per year for two years, with the possibility of extension after a review for an additional three years.

    Partnering Institutes’ Role: Partnering institutes will conduct training programs for farmers within scientific research laboratories and for scientists on agricultural farms. Each collaborating institution or KVK will receive a budget of Rs 5.00 lakhs per year for specific activities outlined in the application.

    Research Projects: If scientists encounter challenges during these programs that require more significant funding, they can submit research project proposals for additional funding. These proposals will be reviewed by the relevant Expert Committee or Task Force of the Program, and additional funds may be allocated based on the project’s merit and proposed solution.

    International Training: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), in collaboration with international organizations and universities, will develop Short-Term Training (STT) programs aimed at exposing farmers to global best practices in farm management. Depending on the activities conducted by scientists and farmers in India, selected groups will be sponsored by DBT for international STT programs. Currently, collaborating universities include Cambridge University, UK; Wageningen University, Netherlands, with the possibility of adding more in the future.

    Read Also: India as a Quad-Led Biomanufacturing Hub

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