The department has continued its focus on the application of biotechnology for societal development. Special programmes are being supported for the economic and technical development of socially disadvantaged sections of the population, women and rural folk. Emphasis was given to training, demonstration and locate-specific R&D for solving specific problems, using modern biology and biotechnology. The following are the highlights of the salient features and major achievements.

Programmes for SC and ST population

Biotechnology-based programme for SC/ST population has benefited around 40,000 people through 46 ongoing and new projects during the year. The projects supported cover cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants and vanilla, biofuels, plant tissue culture, production of biofertilizers and biopesticides, organic farming, aquaculture, silkworm rearing, seaweed and mushroom cultivation as well as human healthcare interventions etc. Universities, public funded institutions, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and voluntary/nongovernmental organizations have been involved in the implementation of the projects. The target group received the benefit of hands-on training and field demonstrations to bring greater awareness.

Medicinal plants

To strengthen health care practices and conservation of medicinal and nutritious plants, the Herbal Folklore Research Centre, Tirupati selected 50 villages on the marginalized segment of the rural population from within the dalits and tribal villages. Over 150 species of rare and endangered plants of the area were collected for establishment in the demonstration garden and for germplasm conservation. Based on documentation of local knowledge and medicinal plant resources, nearly 25 medicinal species that are in wider use for primary health care among the communities were identified. A manual was prepared to educate the self-help groups (SHGs) in laying kitchen garden and these groups have been given training on medicinal plant usage and cultivation. About 3000 plants have been distributed to 30 SHGs and the tribal youths are being trained as ‘bare foot botanists’.


A study was undertaken on cultivation of Jatropha in arid lands of Namakkal District in Tamil Nadu for production of biofuel and other products as an income generation activity for the scheduled caste population at Centre for Research in Social Sciences, Coimbatore. Training programme was conducted on cultivation, seed collection, nursery techniques and oil extraction processes. About 10 acres of land have been brought under cultivation. SHGs were formed and trained in nursery techniques and provided with the necessary inputs for seedling production. About 25,000 seedlings have been supplied at regular intervals and growth of the plant is being monitored. An oil extraction facility has been established. The seeds collected from the fields are yielding about 32% oil by dry weight of the seeds. Inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and polythene bags have been supplied to the beneficiaries along with maintenance cost. Vermicompost pit were also dug and earthworms were supplied. Intercrops such as black gram, green gram and cowpea have been cultivated with Jatropha and castor has been sown as a border crop. This activity ensured monetary returns for the first year as Jatropha is expected to commence yielding only at the end of second year.

Tissue culture vanilla

Study has been initiated on cultivation of tissue culture vanilla for improving the economy of the SC/ST populations by the Peermade Development Society, Idukki District, Kerala. The identified beneficiaries, included those from the tribes Hill Pulayas, Malapandarams, Muthuvans, Palilyans, Ulladas and Uralis. Work is in progress to produce disease-free, early flowering and high yielding vanilla crop through meristem culture. Around 7,000 meristem-derived plantlets have been harvested, hardened and transferred to green house for distribution amongst the 100 identified SC/ST beneficiaries from seven selected villages of Idukki district. Training has been provided in agronomic practices for organic cultivation of vanilla using the freely available mulch in the vicinity. Further work is in progress.


Studies are being carried out on development and practice of vermiculture as an effective source of biofertilizer for improved agricultural productivity  among the scheduled castes of Veerapandi Block of Salem district in Tamil Nadu was implemented at GRD Educational Trust, Coimbatore. More than 300 persons were trained in the techniques of vermicomposting. Inputs and other facilities were provided to set up their own units. Farmers have also been given marketing help for the produce. The fertilizer produced under such a condition is pollution free and eco-friendly and it could help to reclaim the soil. The target people were able to utilize the organic waste cow dung available resources for producing the vermicompost as self sustained employment and income generation activity.


A study was undertaken on production and application of neem and other plant based biopesticides for insect control was implemented at the Madurai Kamraj University, Madurai. Farmers were trained on preparation and application of neem, acorus and jatropha formulations for controlling agricultural pests. Two pesticide production units were established in two villages namely Pudupatti and Sellanankavandanpatti for preparation of active fractions for spraying in different crops. Awareness campaigns were conducted on efficacy of plant products for the control of both crop pests and storage pests. Fifteen lab level training programmes were organized and 30 persons were trained on the use of the production facility for biopesticides. The facilities were also handed over to the village panchayats for sustaining the project activity. In a study on agro-ecological conservation implemented at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Pravara Institute of Research and Education in Natural and Social Sciences (PIRENS), Maharashtra, a model demonstration unit was established to provide skilled training, practical demonstration on vermicompost production and earthworm rearing etc. Vermicompost units established at the beneficiaries’ fields have started production. Bioagents for control of pests and diseases were produced and supplied to the beneficiaries for demonstration. SC/ST families from the KVK operational villages have been selected to undertake training, demonstration and trials of different biocontrol agents of pests and diseases (HaNPV, Noumuraea spp., Trichoderma spp., Paecillomyces spp. and Verticilium spp.) on various crops. The farmers could earn an average income of Rs. 2800/- per acre. The highest income obtained was Rs. 4900/- per acre in pomegranate crop while the lowest income was Rs. 600/- per acre in bajra.

Organic farming/vermicompost

Demonstration project on vermicomposting for population in Washim district of Maharashtra was implemented by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Karda. Training programme on biofarming was organized for 500 beneficiaries. Eighty-two units demonstration units were established in the beneficiaries’ farms. Trials conducted on soybean, black gram, green gram and groundnut showed good yield. Vermicompost is being sold collectively with the marketing linkages provided by KVK. Copies of a booklet prepared in Marathi were distributed amongst the beneficiaries. Vermicomposting and biogas production was undertaken in three villages in the campus area of University of Kerala. SC/ST youths were trained and biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes collected with the cooperation of local residents were used to set up vermiculture units at the households. Demonstration of biogas generation was organized using a portable biogas plant. A training and extension programme was implemented by T.M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur on vermicomposting, in which more than 300 youths, women & small farmers participated.

Silkworm rearing

A demonstration on sericulture technology was taken up for the tribal population of Yercaud block, Salem district in Tamil Nadu. Beneficiaries were trained on aspects of cultivation and drip irrigation of mulberry, cocoon production, construction of rearing house and chawki rearing with the help of the Regional Sericulture Research Station in selected villages. Knowledge was also disseminated to the beneficiaries on the nature of disease symptoms, causative agents and disease management in mulberry and silkworm. Booklets in Tamil were published and wall posters  distributed to the participants as an extension material.


Murrel (a freshwater fish) culture and seed production was undertaken at the Centre for  Aquaculture Research and Extension (CARE), Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu. Fifty-four ponds were selected for demonstration of fish culture practices. Six different species of murrels including the critically endangered ones were collected from wild and a live genebank was established. Four batches of 120 SC/ST youths were trained on identification of murrel species, sexual dimorphism, induced breeding technique, seed production and larviculture, live feed culture involving artemia and rotifers, monoculture and polyculture of murrel with catfish and disease management. A manual on murrel culture in Tamil was prepared and was given to fish farmers and unemployed youths. Beneficiaries have adopted monoculture and polyculture practices and earned about Rs. 9000/- in seven months. Some of the trainees are even earning an average income of about Rs. 25,000 per year.

At Kalyani University, fish-duck farming was taken up to promote integrated fish culture with minimal cost of production through utilization and recycling of animal droppings by minimizing the use of supplementary feed and chemical fertilizers. Fishermen’s cooperative societies were formed and 400 families from Chandamari, Bhomra and Haringhata villages were trained on various aspects of duck-cum-fish culture and poultry-cum-fish culture. Trials are being conducted to transfer the technology to the end-users. For the benefit of SC/ST and weaker section of Tarai region of Uttaranchal, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar conducted demonstrations on fish duck aqua farming by following standard management practices and stocking with the fish fingerlings in different ratio and rearing them with ‘Khaki Campbell’ ducklings. About 65 persons were trained on various aspects of fish and duck husbandry.

Extension booklet and pamphlets prepared on “Duckfish integrated aquafarming”, both in Hindi and English, were distributed to the end users.

M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation implemented demonstration projects on aquaculture activities in coastal areas of Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Chennai on the efficiency of water usage in agriculture and other natural resource management. Both Indian and Chinese carps were cultured in community ponds by 149 rural participants covering 8.4 acres. Participants were also involved in backyard ornamental fish culture and carp seed production. Rainwater harvesting was promoted for carp nursery with cultivation of vegetable and horticulture on the bunds of carp nursery. Various aquaculture-based micro-enterprises could help in improving per-unit productivity of water and the beneficiaries could earn an additional income of Rs. 7000 - 7500/- per year.

At Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur, fish, duck and horticulture farming was taken up in the village tanks of Chhattisgarh for improving fish production and poverty alleviation. Awareness programmes on integrated aquafarming were organized for selected tribal families. Training programmes were organized on pond preparation, selection of species, stocking of fish seed, harvesting and netting the pond. Fingerlings of Indian major carp were stocked in the ponds; fruit plants were cultivated on the dykes of the tank and ducks raised on farm bunds.

In another study in two villages viz. Mahim and Masvan in Palghar Taluka of Thane district in Maharashtra, technologies on integrated fish farming, nursery management, poultry management, growout technology of carps, ornamental fish culture, rearing of brooder freshwater prawn, spirulina culture, soil and water quality management, mushroom culture and vermicomposting were transferred to the people. Training manuals were prepared and distributed to the villagers.

Seaweed cultivation

Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Chennai used commercially valuable species of green algae, brown algae and red algae collected from Kelambakkam backwater near Chennai as the experimental organisms for biofilters in the prawn culture ponds. Nutrient uptake studies were conducted on prawn waste utilization using these algae. Demonstrations were conducted in farmers’ ponds adopting rope culture method for cultivating seaweeds with prawns. Good seaweed biomass was observed in experimental ponds and the seaweed could take up prawn waste. Harvested seaweed was used for prawn feed formulation with various other ingredients including spirulina, soya and corn powders and compared with the commercially available feed. A training programme was organized on seaweed cultivation and processing in prawn culture ponds. The beneficiaries are earning additional income through seaweed technology apart from achieving an environmentally clean aquaculture practice.

Mushroom cultivation

Madurai Kamaraj University organized training programme on cultivation of milk mushroom and oyster mushroom. About 600 youths were trained in various steps of mushroom cultivation including hygiene and harvesting aspects. Technical guidelines in local language were provided to the trainees. Some of the trainees have set-up their own mushroom production units and are earning regular income through selfemployment with minimum investment.

Genetic counseling

A programme was undertaken at Vivekananda Institute of Medical Sciences, Kolkata to provide counselling and prevention from genetic disorders through diagnosis and value added dietary supplementation to tribal population of northeast In Tripura, HbE is shown to be the predominant haemoglobinopathy affecting about 75% population (57.65% heterozygotes and 20.40% homozygotes). The tribal populations of northeast are very heterogenous. Screening was carried out for thalassemia and hereditary anemia in general unrelated tribal population from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura and Midnapore (West Bengal). Around 667 cases were screened and blood samples were tested. Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh reported haemoglobin below 11 gms in 44% cases and hereditary anemia in 10% cases. In Assam, especially among Ahom tribes, the hereditary anemia was 24%, in Tripura 40%, and tribal peoples of Midnapore 5%. Iron deficiency anemia and nutritional anemia were present in majority of the tribal population of both northeast and West Bengal region. Nutritional anaemia was prevalent among Arunachal Pradesh population, whereas hereditary anaemia was more among Assam and Tripura population. Among the school children, nutritional and iron deficiency anaemia was low. Anaemia was also reported in 80% of women causing widespread infant and child mortality.

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 RisodTahsil. Giriraja poultry hatchery and farm was established at KrishiVigyan Kendra, Karda. Beneficiaries were provided with operational inputs like day old chicks, feeders, drinkers, brooders, nests, feed and vaccination alongwith low cost poultry houses. The beneficiaries are earning Rs.2000 with a batch of 100 bird units in a short span of two months.
A project on sustainable livelihood security was implemented in 8 villages of Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh for propagation of Rajasree bird through backyard poultry to benefit SC/ST community.Beneficiaries were trained on rearing of chicks, measuring their weekly body weights, feed consumption, mortality, vaccination etc. Economic analysis of backyard farm operation was found to be highly profitable.

Goat Rearing

A project on Berari goat rearing was implemented in five villages of Akola District in Maharashtra to provide economic support to the farmers through scientific goat breeding and rearing. Awareness was generated among the villagers on the importance of deworming and vaccination. The goat shed was constructed in 1600 sq. ft. for conducting regular demonstration and training programme. Project beneficiaries were given goat kids along with pamphlets for rearing.

Artificial Insemination

Artificial Insemination (AI) training programme was carried out with superior germplasm at farm-gate level to enhance pig productivity in the tribal region of Meghalaya. Nearly 240 pig breeding farmers were trained on scientific breeding, reproductive management and artificial insemination in pigs. 80% of tribal farmers adopted this technology in selected villages and with increased litter size (2-3 piglets). They could get enhanced income of Rs 3,000-4,000 through sale of piglets. The project has received an overwhelming response from the tribal farmers of North-Eastern region.

Silkworm Rearing

Popularization of bio intensive farming techniques for organic silk production was implemented through TNAU, Coimbatore. Farmers were trained on establishment of separate mulberry garden and the techniques involved in chawki rearing, egg incubation, brushing, feeding, cleaning, molting care, disease prevention etc.,. 29 trainings were organized on latest technologies in chawki rearing. Women beneficiaries were inclined to start chawki rearing centre as their commercial venture.

Bio-control Agents

A project on production and demonstration of Neem based Pesticides in IPM system was implemented by KVK, Tondapur in Hingoli Distt., Large scale field demonstrations were conducted in Kalamnuri and Hingoli Block. Awareness programme was undertaken through KisanMela and more than 1100 farmers were trained on IPM Neem seed collection, NSKE preparation and their application on fields. Literature published on importance of Neem seed kernel was distributed to the farmers. Off campus training programme was organized at farmer's fields and covered 486 acres of land under cultivation of cotton, redgram and bengalgram.
Demonstrations and production of biofertilizers and biological control agents was taken up in a project for farmers by TNAU. Demonstrations were conducted on production and use of biofertilizers, vermicompost, neem oil and Trichodermaat the farmers' field. Farmers were also trained on mass production and use of biological control agents for mulberry and silkworm pests and diseases.

Cultivation of Medicinal Plants

In Saran district of Bihar a project was implemented to promote the cultivation of herbs viz., Triphala, Amla, Hare, Bahera, Bael, Podina, Tulsi, Arjuna, Turmeric, Radish etc..120 traditional birth attendants were trained in pre and post natal care and health services.

Mushroom Cultivation

A training programme was conducted on mushroom cultivation and its processing for the benefit of SC/ST population through an at Greater Noida, UP. Beneficiaries were given training on mushroom (Pleurotusspecies) cultivation from substrate preparation to the harvesting and processing and preparation of various recipes for value addition. Training and demonstration units were established in the vicinity of the target population. Mushroom production units were established in the courtyard of the beneficiaries. More than 500 farmers started paddy straw mushroom cultivation and starting earning additional income.

Integrated Aquaculture

Technology transfer and diffusion was undertaken to benefit SC/ST community through an Integrated Duck-Fish-Scampi Culture and Apiculture by Allahabad University. Integrated Scampi-Fish Culture propagated through Giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) culture. Farmers in villages have grown Giant freshwater prawn for commercial gains, along with regular culture of Khaki Campbell Duck production and sale of its eggs to make additional income for their families.

Programmes for Women

Over 12,000 women have benefited directly through biotech packages for floriculture,  horticulture, cultivation of mushrooms, medicinal and aromatic plants, biofertilisers, organic farming, vermicomposting, sericulture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, poultry farming and making of biocrafts. Many other benefited indirectly through programmes for human health, nutrition and environment. Highlights of some of the projects are as follows:

Medicinal and aromatic plants

In a study implemented by the S&T Council of Tripura at Agartala, 300 beneficiaries, selected from 30 villages, were trained in conservtion of 20 rare, endangered and endemic medicinal plants. Therapeutically important species (e.g. Jatropha, Ricinus, Dioscorea, Asparagus, Allium, Vitex, Premna, Aloe, Andrographis., Cympogon, Cissus, Rauvolfia, Curcuma, Cassia, Clerodendrum, Piper, Aquilaria, Phyllanthus, and Hygrophilia) are being cultivated by the beneficiaries on their own land. Market tie-ups have been established through local co-operatives, private ayurvedic practitioners, Medicinal Plants Board of Tripura and the Directorate of Health Services. The beneficiaries generated additional income of upto Rs. 4000/- per annum by selling medicinal plant products.

Through CIMAP Lucknow, 154 women (50 from Lucknow, 47 from Bangalore & 57 from Hyderabad) were given training in local languages on various aspects of four selected medicinal plants (Ashwagandha, Senna, Sarpagandha & Kalmegh) and one aromatic plant (Patchouli) including nursery technology, post-harvest processing and vermicomposting utilizing agrowaste and planting material was made available to the beneficiaries.

At Anna University attempts are being made to provide entrepreneurship skill to women through cultivation of Stevia – a plant that produces a sweetnening agent. A demonstration plot for raising invitro Stevia plants was set up on Panchayat land and

beneficiaries are being trained in cultivation, harvesting and processing techniques as well as in marketing.


In order to improve socio-economic status of rural women in Chandigarh and adjoining areas though orchid based horticulture, the Orchid Society of India raised over 200 tissue culture plants in the green house, additional seventeen hybrid varieties of orchids were procured from various sources, and 30 women were trained in rearing of tissue-culture plants.

At Faizabad, U.P., Surya Gramudyog Viaks Samiti trained rural women in different aspects of cultivation of commercial ornamental species such as marigold, gladiolus, anthurium, rose etc. A demonstration unit was set up over an area of 0.4 ha. The beneficiaries were trained in post-harvest technology such as prolonging the longevity, storage, grading and packaging of flowers.

The State Forest Research Institute, Itanagar, raised 11 clones of quality Cymbidium hybrids (Red Beauty Carment, Cornulla the Khan, Christmas Beauty, Pink Heather, Pine clash, Moon-Venus, Margaret Thatcher Perfection, Miss Sandose, Valley Winter Ultimate, Highland Sunset, Great Flower) at a demonstration center and fourteen tribal women were trained in raising these plants.

Over 25, 000 tissue culture-raised plants of six species of orchids were raised at NEHU, Shillong. About 6, 000 hardened plantlets were supplied to the beneficiaries to rear on their own land. Sixty women from four villages were trained in vegetative propagation and hardening of tissue culture-raised plants.

Food technology

At GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Itanagar, 100 families from 9 villages were taught to adopt multi-tier cropping system for cultivation of 163 wild edible plants along with vegetables and horticultural crops. At the College of Horticulture, Kerala Agricultural University 146 women were imparted training in cocoa cultivation and processing. The women were grouped into three categories viz. entrepreneurs, farm women and students. They were assisted in setting up units for making chocolates and other products; several have started their own units for making chocolates on small scale. Attempts are being made to popularize the technology.

Training programmes were conducted by Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation (HESCO), Dehradun and over 155 women trained in processing and value addition to horticultural crops were able to earn additional income upto Rs. 3,000/- per person per month through the sale of pickle, squash, jam etc. Fifty women were trained in bee-keeping and preparation of hive boxes using local resources and 63 women were trained in preparation of incence sticks and cakes.

Poultry farming

Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vidyapith (HPKV), Palampur trained 160 rural women from 27 Mahila Mandals of Kangra district in poultry farming including poultry rearing, healthcare, feed formulation & management. Thirty two units of broiler were established on farmers’ land utilizing locally available material. On an average a profit of Rs. 1,200/- to 1,800/ - per person per month was reported. In another project Sri Aurobindo Anusilan Society, Seharapara, trained 450 tribal women from 30 villages of Jharkhand and 250 women from West Bengal in poultry farming of RIRIVRI breed of which 150 have established their own units and are earning upto Rs. 1000/- per month. Someof the beneficiaries are able to earn additional incomeof Rs. 7000-8000/- per year through selling of male chicks, eggs, manure etc. At the Poultry Research Station, Nandanam, Chennai, 25 women were trained in entrepreneurship development through quail farming. Identified women were assisted to form SHGs for market tie-up.


The Manipur S&T State Council, Imphal trained 180 fisherwomen in aquaculture including construction of fish rearing ponds using biomass, mud and bamboo. The beneficiaries also cultivated aquatic vegetables. The women are earning income on a regular basis through the sale of vegetables as well as fish in the local market.

At the National Research Center for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneshwar, 195 women were trained on carp and fresh water prawn cultivation. The beneficiaries were given the complete package of practices including pond cleaning and preparation, water analyses, stocking, larval rearing, feed and water management and post harvest technologies. A maximum yield of 5.8 tones/ ha was reported through this intervention against the yield of 0.125 tones/ha before the launch of the project. An additional income through the sale of surplus produce was reported upto Rs. 11,000/ - per harvest. Forty rural women were trained in innovative techniques of fresh water aquaculture at the pond owned by the Bhopal University, Bhopal. A community pond was also made available by the State Government on lease to 80 trained women for rearing freshwater fish. Beneficiaries are also being trained in pearl culture for additional income at the pond owned by the university.

Over 287 women from 26 villages of Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh were trained in fish farming for mid hill region by HPKV, Palampur. Three Chinese carps (i.e. common carp, grass carp & silver carp) in the ratio of 3:2:1 or 2:2:1 were cultured together under semiintensive culture practices with the stocking density of 15,000 fingerlings/ha and the average production with a pond capacity of 100, was recorded at 50-60 kg., providing a net profit of about Rs. 3,000/- per harvest.

The College of Fisheries, Mangalore trained women from Bengre fishing village on various aspects of entrepreneurship in aquafarming, based on their educational background. Around 70 women are being trained in fish drying, 50 in breeding of aquarium fish and a similar number of graduate women for laboratory aspects of fish quality assessment including organoleptic, biochemical and microbiological tests.

Animal husbandry

TNVASU, Chennai provided training to 510 women on dairy cattle management including aspects of breeding, feed and feeding, calf management, diseases and their prevention & control measures. About 254 women who have land and water resources were also trained in cultivation of green fodder. Over 406 animals were inseminated and 213 conceived with the conception rate of 52.46%.

Organic farming / vermicompost

Deshbandhu Mahila Samajam imparted training to women of Kattakada village of Kerala in production & application of vermicompost. A hatchery and nine demonstration units were set up. More than 200 MT of vermicompost was produced and demonstrated onhorticultultural crops such as banana and papaya. A combination of vermicompost and biofertiliser resulted in five-fold increase in yield. Over 300 women were trained and provided with 3000 worms for setting up her own vermicompost unit. A total of 67 units were setup on beneficiaries’ land with each beneficiary earning between Rs.300/- and Rs.500/- per month. Several ‘vermi-melas’ were organised for creating awareness and establishing market linkages. At Sri Padmavathi Mahila Visvavidyalayam, Tirupati, 80 women in the age group of 20-40 years from eight villages of Chitoor district were selected for training in vermicompost and cultivation of Pseudomonas.

Mushroom cultivation

Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat conducted 14 training programmes on mushroom in three districts of Assam namely, Nalbari, Kamrup & Jorhat. About 85  families set up their own mushroom production units out of 1513 women trained, with earnings upto Rs. 3500/ per month through the sale of fresh mushroom. At the Tropical Botanic Garden & Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, 350 women were trained in mushroom cultivation and value added products. Two persons were also trained in spawn production and management of the center. The beneficiaries were provided with 1436 good quality spawn. Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur has been provided support for training women in cultivation as well as production of various value-added products from oyster and milky mushrooms.


The Central Sericultural Research & Training Institute, Mysore has trained over 462 women from Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in aspects of silkworm rearing, seed  production, silkworm pathology, integrated pest management, chawki silkworm rearing, cocoon reeling, seri-engineering etc. The beneficiaries were also trained in mulberry cultivation and value added products from cocoons. Efforts are being made to help the trained women in setting up their own venture. Vidyasagar University, West Bengal trained 164 women from 12 villages of Midnapore district in organic cultivation of mulberry and arjun plants (Terminalia arjuna) utilizing sericulture waste for vermicomposting.

Health, nutrition & environment

SGPGIMS, Lucknow is providing genetic counselling to families from five villages about the common genetic diseases viz. thallassemia, sickle cell anemia, Down syndrome and mental retardation. It has been possible to raise the awareness level significantly as about 48 percent of families were aware of how to check genetic diseases during prenatal period.

At Manovikas Bio-Medical Research and Diagnostic Centre, Kolkata. 80,000 women in a cluster of 11 Panchayats have been identified for the screening and diagnosis. Six community workers were trained to identify individuals showing signs of mental retardation. Nineteen mentally retarded cases were diagnosed and blood samples from these cases collected for karyotyping for Fragile X syndrome to confirm diagnosis.

Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore screened about 500 women in the age group of 25-56 years for carcinoma cervix in rural women of Karnataka using conventional cytological methods. A PCR multiplex for cases at high risk was standardized in collaboration with other labs.

At AIIMS, New Delhi 15-day ‘hands-on’ training on human genetics was provided to personnel from two medical colleges from Jaipur to create awareness on sexual and reproductive health. Blood samples from 48 females with history of primary amenorrhea (or premature ovarian failure were collected for cytogenetic analysis using markers for molecular genetics (Gbanding). FISH analysis using various probes for X & Y chromosomes was carried out to confirm minor cell lines and detect low-level mosaicism. The results are being evaluated to detect chromosomal abnormalities in cases of female infertility.

Studies were undertaken at AIIMS, New Delhi, to assess the status of osteoporosis (bone mineral density), cardiovascular disease and symptomatology in postmenopausal women and the effect of phytoestrogen from natural sources i.e. soyabeans. Two hundred postmenopausal women were provided with soya products. The biochemical and clinical data including bone density, lipid profile & cardio-vascular profile indicated a positive response when compared to the controlled women with no soya-product or phytosteron.

Under a project supported at SGPGIMS, Lucknow to establish etiology of rickets, blood samples from 128 adolescent girls and 82 pregnant women were analyzed for alkaline phosphate. Out of these, 37 adolescents and 31 pregnant women were found to have biochemical osteomalacia.

At Bhagwan Mahavir Medical Research Center, Hyderabad, over 100 women and children were tested from different locations from a population that had been exposed to the industries manufacturing paints with a high level of lead. About 40% of the population showed over 100ug/dL lead in their blood compared to 20 ug/ dL in normal population. Data on Calcium dependent metabolism, choromosomal abberation based on commet assay indicated low level of calcium assimilation and haemoglobin content. 

Bharathidasan University trained women in utilizing distillery waste for raising ornamental and crop plants. The effluent, sludge and press mud from distilleries were recycled for raising ornamentals (rose, jasmine, crossandra, chrysanthemum) and crop plants (sorghum, pennisetum, red gram & black gram).

Utilisation of local bioresources for value-added products

(i) Prasad Kit

HESCO, Dehradun is imparting training to 20 women of the Bhutia tribe in preparation and sale of aspecial prasad popularised as “panchamrit”. The prasad is being prepared by these women utilizing buck wheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), grain amaranth (Amaranthuscaudatus), millet (Echinochloa sp.), ghee and sugar has been accepted to temple committees in Badrinath & Gangotri temples. Each basket of prasad includes three laddoos and insence, also made from local aromatic plants. Plastic bags to carry the prasad are being replaced with small bamboo baskets, made from a local variety of bamboo (Arundinaria falcata). The baskets are being woven by the local Ruria community. During the pilgrim season (May-June), each woman was able to earn around Rs. 10,000/-. About 100 weavers from five villages made the baskets and earned Rs. 33,000/- during the pilgrim season. Consultations are ongoing with Kedarnath and Yamnotri for similar arrangement.

(ii) Salix

Realising the commercial importance of willow (Salix sp. Family Salicaceae), a project was supported at the University of Kashmir, Srinagar for training women in manufacturing various value-added products. Over 90 women from 3 districts of Jammu & Kashmir were trained in the manufacture and design of various valued craft items viz. wicker baskets, cricket bats, artificial limbs and various kinds of attractive designed furniture. The beneficiaries are also being trained in cultivation of quality planting material.

(iii) Lac

Ninety women from Koraon village were trained in lac farming under a project supported at Bioved Research & Communication Centre, Allahabad. Beneficiaries were provided with brood lac (seed) purchased from earlier lac women growers who sold 70% of their harvest @ Rs. 85/-kg. Nearly 25 quintals of scratched lac from twigs was sold by the lac growers directly to the lac industry with the help of the implementing agency. Each family was able to earn Rs. 1600/month. New lac host plants i.e. poplar (Populus sp.), flemengia and jangal jalebi (Pithecellobium dulec) were planted for lac cultivation. Ten thousand host nursery plants were raised by trained women lac growers and it is expected that they will earn Rs. 1-2 lakh per year as additional income through the sale of nursery plants as well as brood lac.

Programmes for Rural Areas

A number of projects have been implemented including 15 new ones in R&D institutions, universities, colleges and NGOs for the benefit of rural people. More than 25,000 people have benefited through these programmes during the year. Several beneficiaries have started earning their livelihood through adoption of improved farming practices and sale of their products in the local market. Some of the activities are highlighted below:

Medicinal plants

The Society for Himalayan Environmental Research developed a nursery to raise and distribute quality planting material/seedlings of Meetha (Aconitum atrox), Atis (Aconitum heterophyllum), Kutki (Picrorhiza scrophularaeiflora) and Kuth (Saussurea lappa) to thefarmers. A demonstration was conducted in about 3 acres land at 7000 ft MSL on agro-farming. Awareness camps were organized in which 282 villagers including 162women participated. A cooperative society of women cultivators was formed for marketing the produce directly to the  pharmaceutical houses at remunerative prices.

Commercial cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants was promoted by Srimad Andavan Arts and Science College, Tiruchirappalli. Awareness campaign was conducted on commercial cultivation of Ashwagandha, senna, sadabahar, Phyllanthus and Aloe vera. Vermi-technology was also provided as an ideal technique to convert waste into high quality manure, which increases soil fertility for sustainable agriculture. Aspects of usage of biofertilizer, biocontrol agents, biopesticide, and bioenhancer were also taught to the beneficiaries. Women self help groups were formed, to whom quality seeds, cuttings and literature pertaining to agro techniques were supplied.


Studies were undertaken on vermiculture and biogardening interventions for women to initiate microenterprises by Sri Padmavathi Mahila Viswa  Vidhyalayam, Tirupati. Participatory training programme was organized. Organic manure generated is being used for groundnut crop.

Morarka Foundation, Jaipur continued Krishi Jaiv Prodyogiki Prasar Programme in Kutch on vermiculture technology. About 389 vermicompost units have been installed on farmer’s field and awareness created. Steps have been taken to provide support of certification and market linkage for better price. Use of vermicompost on groundnut could replace chemical fertilizer by 30%. On bitter gourd, it could control heavy infections and its use with probiotics could save input costs of about Rs. 1500/- per acre with early fruiting and better net gain. Vermicompost is being used as a substitute for chemical fertilizer in various crops viz. tomato, wheat, cotton and barseem and better crop growth and increase in yield was reported with saving in input cost and 20% increase in production.

Studies at Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur helped generate self-employment for the upliftment of rural people and to improve fish production utilizing ecofriendly practices. Vermicompost produced by utilization of agricultural wastes was utilized as manure in nursery ponds for raising carp fries and fingerlings. Research on nutrient status and growth studies was conducted by using vermicompost vis-à-vis farmyard manure and poultry manure.

Programme implemented through Society for Integrated Rural Development in the villages of Tarlupadu Mandal, Prakasam District, Andhra Pradesh trained 65 families on raising vermicompost and its usage as organic manure in raising vegetable and other commercial crops. About 65 units were constructed with farmers’ participatory approach and self help groups have been formed to obtain loans from banks to establish more units to increase their income levels.

Food processing

The Fisheries College and Research Institute, Tuticorin established a training-cum-production unit and women self-help groups were trained on preparation of sardine fish pickle and masala-flavoured fish. Products produced by the trainees were tested and marketed in Tuticorin and adjacent districts and the marketing network is being expanded all over Tamil Nadu.


In a Biovillage project in Lilivav and Bhandar villages, CSMCRI, Bhavnagar conducted training and demonstrations programmes for adoption of modern agrotechnology, use of improved crop varieties, biofertilizer and biopesticides. Farmers were trained in cultivation of groundnut, cotton and bajra using crop specific biofertilizers (Rhizobium, Azotobacter & PSB). Farmers were also trained in preparation and use of biopesticides from neem kernel and NVP to control pests of groundnut and cotton. Farmers benefited economically through saving of Rs. 400 and Rs. 700 per acre cultivation of groundnut and cotton, respectively, on chemical pesticides. The farmers were trained in nursery raising and plantation of Salvadora persica on inland and coastal saline soils and plantation of Salicornia brachiata on coastal saline soils. Trainingcum- demonstration on preparation of liquid seaweed fertilizer and its use in crops were also conducted. The farmers used liquid seaweed fertilizer as foliar application on crops like groundnut, cotton, bajra, onion and vegetable and obtained 10-20% enhanced crop yield. Salicornia brachiata cultivated on coastal saline land produced 4 tons / acre dry biomass after recovery of 0.60 ton seeds and 1.4 tones herbal salt was obtained from the same. Biogas plants were established in both the villages. Ten beneficiaries from both the villages were jointly selected by CSMCRI and Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Limited for establishment of biogas plants in other villages. The beneficiaries, especially women, are benefited with the smokeless fuel and by saving fuel wood.

Another biovillage project continued in 10 villages of Madhya Pradesh. Demonstration units were established for entrepreneurship development in the areas of biofertilizer production, sericulture, vermiculture, value-added products from natural fibers, spirulina production, floriculture and floricraft, pisciculture and post-harvest technology. Awareness and training programmes were conducted on organic farming with the use of biofertilizer, biopesticides, NADEP compost, vermiculture and green manure. Among the villagers, 75% have adopted organic manure for their own use as well as for additional income generation. Vermiculture pits have been established and farmers have started producing vermicompost, azotobacter and phosphate solubilizing bacteria in their farmland. The crops have been produced through organic farming by

growing different vegetables. With the implementation of these activities, about 2300 villagers have started getting additional income from adoption of different rural technologies.

Biological Pest Control

A project on Biological Control of crop pests was implemented for the benefit of rural population in Jabalpur District of Madhya Pradesh. Field demonstrations were conducted and awareness generated about the usage of biopesticides instead of chemical pesticides among farmers, women, and backward population. A total of 183 field demonstrations were undertaken in an area of 1974 hectares in 50 gram panchayats. Awareness generating programs were undertaken which benefited 6,345 villagers. Demonstrations on use of botanicals as biocontrol agents to show their efficacy at field level as well as techniques of mass producing antagonists such as entomopathogenic fungi for pest control were also undertaken.
Another project on production of biological agents; bio-fertilizers & bio-pesticides was implemented by an NGO. Trainings were conducted to benefit 500 farmers and rural youths. Nearly 340 farmers were trained on application, handling and quality testing of Agriculture inputs and soil in Ghaziabad district. A Testing facility was set up at Ghaziabad and more than 900 samples of soil, 325 samples of seeds, 190 samples of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers were tested in the laboratory. Around 1800 people have been directly benefited through the training conducted under the project.

Fruit Plant Nursery

Fruit plant nursery raising and use of biological software was undertaken for farmers at KrishiVigyan Kendra, Unnao. Demonstrations were conducted and fruit plant nurseries with vermicompost were established at farmer's field. Trainings were organized on campus and off campus for 313 farmers on Fruit Plant Nursery rising with use of biological softwares at KVK KrishiVigyan Kendra as well as at farmers' field. Krishak Gosthis, farmers-scientists interaction, exhibitions were also organized. Commercial nursery raised fruit plants like Mango, Guava and Aonla were supplied to farmers for raising plantations using vermicompost, Neem oil, bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide By raising quality Fruit plant nursery, beneficiaries could earn around Rs. 4000-5000 per year per as an additional income.

Fish Culture in Horticulture Ponds

A project on enhancement of rural farmers through fish culture in horticulture based polythene lined farm ponds was undertaken by College of Fishery Science, Nagpur. Farmers and unemployed youths were trained on polythene lined farm ponds for the use of with the use of stunted fingerlings of Jayanti Rohu and Catla. Beneficiary farmers were provided aquaculture inputs in the form of fingerlings and floating formulated fish feed. Farmers were guided through relevant literature on fish farming. Fish culture in farm pond of one acre produced 3.5 tonnes of fish, and generated surplus income. Beneficiaries experienced increment in overall productivity of their horticulture/agriculture crop by irrigating the crops with nutrient rich water, which was used for fish culture activity.

Value Addition

Bio-Technological Intervention for Employment Generation was undertaken through value addition in Amla fruit and brewed vinegar production in Sultanpur and Pratapgarh districts of U.P. An awareness building programme was conducted in the selected blocks of the two districts on vinegar production, marketing and amla fruit processing. Nearly 540 beneficiaries were trained on amla processing and vinegar production. The NGO which implemented the project created marketing outlets at various locations in these districts and also participated in various state and domestic fairs.

Integrated Biotechnological Interventions

A project was implemented on Integrated biotechnological interventions at Chennai to provide alternative income to the rural population through various interventions such as vermicomposting, mushroom cultivation and clonal propagation. Nearly 664 beneficiaries were trained through networking partners from NGOs. A total of 80 Vermicompost pits, 40 Mushroom cultivation sheds, 12 Charcoal Briquetting units, 4 Net houses for Clonal propagation were established. The project implementation helped in employment generation and effective and judicious resource utilization and waste management.

Bio-Resource complex

The department has taken bold initiatives on the establishment of rural bio-resource complexes in the country with an aim to utilize rural bio-resources in a more meaningful and sustainable manner and to create large number of avenues for the rural community. The concept was supported with an end to end approach and integrated networking, sharing resources, funding and benefits from state resources with technological innovations and S&T and BT inputs. As such DBT has established five Rural Bioresource Complex (RBCs) at State Agriculture Universities viz. UAS, Bangalore: MAU, Prabhani, HAU, Hissar, GBPAU&T, Pant Nagar and OUAT, Bhubaneswar. An impact assessment study has indicated that RBCs have done good job in extending recent interventions to the community an all the research institutes have done their work precisely, as it facilitates employment generation and also is the source of additional income for the community and women empowerment. The RBC projects were implemented in a holistic manner to benefit the rural community through sustainable and judicious utilization of bio-resources.


The department continued supporting bioevents to exhibit Krishi&Krishuk activities and promote product development at the rural level by bringing awareness among the rural population on various enterprising activities viz., biofertilizers; biopesticides; sericulture; aquaculture; mushroom cultivation; spirulina production; vermicomposting; floriculture; animal husbandry; cultivation of medicinal and other economically important plants, waste utilization; marine resources; value added products and processing. Nine such bioevents were organized in various parts of the country. Besides farmers various NGO's and agencies dealing with sanitation, health management and agro service centers etc. participated in these events. The success of Bio-events has been praiseworthy as more than lakhs of farmers have participated including scientists and extension personnel.