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Rural Biotechnology

IMAP’s new project under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of West Bengal aims at the Promotion of Biotechnology in 4 (Four) Districts of West Bengal, viz, Paschim Medinipur,Purulia, Burdwan, & South 24 Parganas in a structured manner so that the concept of Rural Biotechnology can be evolved.

This structure will comprise a Technological Hub with Multimedia Kiosks with an interface with Kolkata Biotech Park along with five Audio Visual interventions so that a set of skilled Human Resources may be generated.

The innovation of a technology is always costly if we look from the angle of laboratory expenditure. However, the cost becomes negligible when the number of recipients is large. The cost-benefit analysis of introducing any technology is always cheaper compared to the cost of any intervention when it is used by a large number of people ----- it becomes insignificant in a welfare economy. Even in a commercial enterprise, the laboratory cost of introducing any new technology is always very high, but when the number of buyers is large, the price-tag starts reducing. This market behaviour is always true for any new product, especially which are related to technology.

This dissemination technology will help the recipients to find new areas of earning livelihood and improvise the present mode of production process as well accentuating to generate awareness and implement the concept of culturing soil, water, environment and a host of other resources including agriculture.

Two centres at Medinipur and Purulia have already been inaugurated and the training process has begun.

If we make a sensitive analysis of the prevalent situation in these four districts, we will find a host of problems that merits immediate attention. 1) Low production from fragmented land-holdings 2) Income from land becomes insufficient 3) Dearth of technological resources 4) Plenty of unskilled human resources 5) Exodus of human resources from rural to urban areas is directionless 6) To retain these human resources, there is no effective effort so far to train the rural people, 7)If they, on their own, want to know certain skill and improvise themselves, there is no knowledge bank & guideline as well and 8) Most of the rural people do not know that there exist a number of alternative ways to earn livelihood.

To bridge this yawning gap between the need and resources, the following dissemination model will be put to use :

  • A chain of Kiosk-network with dedicated programming will be set up along with a video-conferencing system supported by Biotech calendar earmarking the training schedule and the interventions. This chain will be capable to bear the interfacing among four districts and Kolkata Biotech Park.
  • To Develop a chain of Primary Training Centre –Cum Lab Cum Information Centre (Technology Hub) with an interface of 4 centres through multimedia Kiosks in three districts of West Bengal with a link to Kolkata Biotech Park. The said districts are, Paschim Medinipur, Burdwan, Purulia and South 24 Parganas.
  • Preparation of Audio-visual material along with printed literature and Posters for each of the intervention, which may be downloaded to the Block level & Panchayat level as well. At present, following 4 (four) cases of interventions have been proposed: a) Mushroom Cultivation, b) Vermin-composting, c) Bio- pesticides and d) Organized Lac Farming (using Flemingia Semialata as host plant)

•Livelihood from Barren Lands, especially for Tribal People•Medical Services to twine Life & Livelihood•Literacy for Livelihood