The Department of Biotechnology is supporting Biotechnology based Programme for Societal Development with an aim to promote the use of biotechnological processes and tools for the benefit of the disadvantaged section of the society comprising women, rural population, SC/ST and weaker section. The activities are supported for undertaking training and demonstration for self-employment generation. The youth belonging to rural background and SC/ST community are being trained on various interventions on agriculture and allied sector health, nutrition and sanitation, value chain and post harvest agripreneurship development, biodiversity conservation, skill development among the youth. The projects are mainly rural based, village based and resource based and specifically supported to create platform for self employment generation in the backward region of the country.
Recently we have witnessed the World Youth Skill Day celebrated on 15th July to understand the challenges faced by the young work force and the skills the youth are needed to excel in their professional career. To commemorate International Youth Day and especially to address the department’s efforts for social upliftment, the programmes encourages youth to take action to face challenges in today’s society to make their efforts for the livelihood and ultimately for the social commitment. The Department of Biotechnology supplements the mission of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and to provide opportunities to resource poor youth by involving them in various income generating activities and entrepreneurship development through DBT programme in nation-building activities.
The empowerment of tribal women through livelihood generation and nutritional security in tribal areas of East Godavari District were taken up through community based approaches by CTRI, Rajamundry created entrepreneurship development among the tribal women. The introduced supplementary diets and weaning foods played a key role in reduction of malnutrition of children to an extent of 60% to 80% in the adopted tribal villages and helped in introduction of nutripreneurial activities through homestead units for processing of horticulture produce, fruit and vegetable preservation.
Banana tissue culture was promoted to uplift weaker section youth to get engaged in cultivation through adoption of tissue cultured protocol and create income generation with use of tissue cultured plantlets cultivation. Production and distribution of tissue culture plantlets of banana among the youth encouraged to undertake profitable enterprise to start with.
Floriculture activity was promoted for In-Vitro propagation and bio-farming of Anthurium (Anthurium andreanum) and Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) in Terai-Dooars region of West Bengal, helped the rural youth to start Gerbera cultivation under low-cost polyhouse both in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts.
Activities introduced in softer biotechnologies by Agri Biotech Foundation, Hyderabad through introduction of technologies of organic farming viz. bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticide, tissue culture, vermicomposting for production of bio-products for organic farming. Youth trained on hands on skills in preparation and application of bio-products in seed treatment, seedling and soil application methods. This has created avenues for self employment and marketing in the agriculture sector as self employment generation.
Kerala Agricultural University has introduced entrepreneurship skill development for Scheduled Caste/Tribe women through floriculture.
In North-Eastern region in the state of Manipur, youth trained on improved production system and breeding of pigs to enhance their livelihood and family income considering pig rearing is the mainstay of livelihood generation.
A goat rearing was popularized among women for sustainable income generation by College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Parbhani among women SHGs for sustainable income generation. Trained beneficiaries were motivated through training and mass awareness programme for rearing of Osmanabadi goats. Women Self-Help Groups were also trained in COVAS on quail farming for adoption of profitable quail production.
Youths were trained on integrated fish farming as a sustainable profitable model; the trained youth have adopted fish-poultry-vegetable integrated farming in Champawat District of Uttarakhand for their livelihood.
Technologies were popularized for utilization of ‘WEEDS’ among the un-employed youth to create opportunities for income generation in Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. The trained youth are preparing market demand articles like Furniture, Flower Basket, Vegetable Basket, Dustbin, Fancy Article (toys) and Computer tables etc. with these weeds for their sustenance as livelihood option.
Lac cultivation demonstrated through training by SKUAST-Jammu has created livelihood opportunities for Kandi youth of Jammu through state of art technology developed for lac production including pruning, inoculation, crop protection, lac processing and brood production on Palas and Ber.
Inputs from Dr. Arun S. Ninawe, Advisor, DBT