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Programme for SC/ST population
For the socio economic upliftment of SC/ST target population programme was continued and various projects were sanctioned on poultry production; goat rearing; artificial insemination; sericulture; bio-control agents; vermicomposting; medicinal plants; mushroom cultivation; aquaculture; animal husbandry and bio-resource complex. About 20,000 people have been benefited.
Highlights of the projects are as follows:

Tissue Culture

At KAU, KVK project on entrepreneurship development and sustainable livelihoods for SC/ST women through floriculture was implemented in two agro-ecological locations of Wayanad district and Central midlands, Thrissur district of Kerala. Self help groups comprising of young unemployed women were formed at each location and registered as Sabari Self Help Group in High range and DROPS (Downtrodden Rural Organisation for Self-employment) at Thrissur district. The plantlets were supplied to the SHGs for growing in greenhouses. Six months training on Plant Tissue Culture (PTC) was conducted on hardening and ex vitro establishment of TC plants to 15 members. The project activity was extended by involving the Panchayat members and nearly to 500-600 local communities.

Artificial Insemination

A project on dissemination and use of biotechnology tools in livestock for sustainability development for the families in desert areas of Rajasthan was implemented by BAIF Research Foundation, Pune. The project was implemented in Parbatsar, Riya Badi and Merta city blocks of Nagaur district to benefit the livestock owners on breed improvement by taking A.I. door step breeding services for the beneficiaries for Tharparkar breed of cattle best milk producers reared in desert area.

Ginger Cultivation

A project on livelihood promotion of tribal communities in Kandhamal District, Orissa by using biotechnology was implemented by OUAT, Bhubaneswar for the benefit of tribal communities in Kandhamal district, Orissa. The major constraints were highlighted on ginger and turmeric cultivation identifying biotic and abiotic stresses, genetic erosion, poor quality planting material, post-harvest loss, lack of well processing facility and market support. In vitro production of quality planting material of turmeric crop has been produced and improved method was standardized for large scale production of true to the type, disease free and high yielding planting material. These planting materials were supplied to the beneficiaries as viable quality planting materials. Community Radio Station ‘Muskan’, Phulbani in regular intervals for spreading the message through the district as well as neighboring districts.

Black-Pepper Cultivation

Scientific organic cultivation of pepper through efficient use of bio-control agents and bio-pesticides was propagated among the Tribal and Rural farmers of Idukki District, Kerala by Peermade Development Society, Peermade, Kerala. The beneficiaries have started organic cultivation of pepper in their own fields with the technical support provided. Model plot has been developed and maintained at the farmer field which is functioning as a demonstration field of organic cultivation of black pepper. The beneficiaries have acquainted with the knowledge on the importance of organic cultivation of crops in the state.

Product Development

A project on promoting the use of invasive species, as an important bio-resource, to enhance livelihood of forest dwelling tribal communities was implemented by Atree Foundation, Bangalore. Technology know-how disseminated for promotional and use of the weed, lantana camara, as a substitute for declining bamboo resources. Over 175 artisans in the use of Lantana were trained and more than 50 different furniture and utility products models have been designed from Lantana. A comprehensive training module was developed to assist the local communities to train more people on Lantana craft. Lantana Craft Centres have been established to train artisans in lantana craft and urban and rural market linkages have been created.

Poultry Production

A project on poultry production was implemented for demonstration of Giriraja poultry as regular source of income for SC/ST population in Washim district of Maharashtra. Beneficiaries were trained on different aspects of Giriraja poultry farming at KVK as well as at village sites in Risod Tahsil.