CSIR Scientists in Villages

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has been providing the S&T knowledgebase needed for the socio-economic development in the country. CSIR’s scheme namely, “CSIR-800” is focused at bringing in desired S&T interventions for improving the quality of life, removing drudgery and augmenting income of the people at the base of the economic pyramid.

CSIR’s Technology-enabled Villages (TECHVIL) initiative is for relevant technological interventions and skill development and up-gradation for targeted people at the base of economic pyramid. CSIR has been adopting villages to promote employment generation and income augmentation. It has catalyzed commercial cultivation of Geranium in Uttarakhand and Lavender in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh through community participation. In these end to end missions, farmers have been trained not only for cultivation of Geranium and Lavender but also for extraction of oil, augmenting thus their income. Likewise CSIR efforts through development of niche Mentha varieties and their propagation for mass cultivation are noteworthy. The efforts have led to economic growth and have enabled India to acquire a world leadership position in Menthol mint oil production and export. CSIR has transformed the landscape of Lahaul through introduction of lilium cultivation for the first time.

High quality planting materials, agrotechnology and technical services were provided to farmers of the region, as a result they are now selling cut flowers of lilium at a premium price in the Delhi market. Also, they are raising nursery to generate good quality bulbs for further distribution to farmers. Preservation of peas is one of the major needs of the Lahaul region and to cater to this requirement CSIR has developed a low cost simple technique for preservation of vegetables (cauliflower, beans, peas) through blanching, brining and appropriate packaging. This process enhances the shelf-life upto 12 months. Buckwheat is highly nutritious widely available resource of the Lahaul region which goes waste. CSIR has developed a cost effective technology for delicious nutribar from buckwheat. The product has been launched and it has generated a lot of interest among locals. The young people have been trained for development of the product. The ginseng root is known to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protect against stress, enhance strength and promote relaxation. CSIR has introduced Ginseng in Lahaul valley.

CSIR has set up post-harvest centres in Mizoram (Aizawl) and Arunachal Pradesh (Pashighat). These centres are focused at helping the local farmers in the region for value addition to their agricultural produce. The centres house technology for high efficiency drying and processing of ginger, cardamom, turmeric, chillies etc. The farmers are able to sell their produce at 20-25% higher price to these processing centres. The CSIR Post Harvest Technology Centres are thus augmenting income and generating direct employment.

CSIR efforts for socio-economic development have led to: empowering people at Kashmir Valley through creation of aromatic industry; development of bio-inoculants for enhancing plant productivity and its dissemination in UP to the farmers in partnership with the State Government on a very large scale and it has enhanced agriculture productivity; development of mushroom technology, its transfer and training which has benefitted economically the rural women in North East States; development of the ethnic products and their promotion for economic development of the women entrepreneurs of Manipur. CSIR has developed indigenous substitute of Ukraine clay in granite ceramic tiles which has reduced the Ukraine clay requirement from 20% to about 1%, reducing thus the foreign material import and associated costs. This has made major economic difference and benefitted small and medium scale enterprises in Gujarat.

Over the years CSIR has developed technologies for: food and food processing; building and construction; enchancing potability of water; environment and sanitation; cultivation and processing of economic plants; rural roads; farm machinery; solar rickshaw (soleckshaw), leather; pottery etc. The technologies developed have been gainfully utilized in several states and contributed in improving quality of life and economic growth of focused villages and small towns.

This was stated by Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply in Lok Sabha.