Guwahati: Northeast is going to be developed as Bharat’s bio-economic hub as the eastern Himalayan region is rich in mega-biodiversity and it is among 34 biodiversity hotspots around the world. Visiting the institute of bioresources & sustainable development at Imphal, Union science & technology minister Dr Jitendra Singh also commented that there is a need to put these invaluable genetic resources to use for the economic growth of the region.
Union minister Dr Singh along with another Union minister Rajkumar Ranjan Singh arrived in the Manipur capital city on Monday and visited the prestigious institute next morning to interact with its faculty members and students. He commented that due to consistent and renewed focus of PM Narendra Modi, the country will be recognized as a global bio-manufacturing hub by 2025 and will figure among the top five countries in the world.
“India’s bio-economy is on its way to achieve 150 billion dollar target from the current 70 billion dollar by 2025 and will contribute effectively to the PM’s vision of a five trillion dollar economy by 2024-25,” said Dr Jitendra Singh adding that on PM’s directives the department of biotechnology has played a pivotal role to build capacity in the north-eastern region for carrying out biotechnology research to address issues specific to the region.
He observed that the institute should not only become a center of excellence in the region but also generate technology packages toward employment generation for the welfare of locals. It should be people-centered and follow imaginative & innovative approaches to win the confidence of the people through its works, he opined.
“The institute should emerge as a vibrant, active and committed center for research application and commercialization of technology, products & processes and should promote enterprises based on the rich bio-resources of the region to bring happiness to the entire land-locked region,” said the visiting minister.
He also stated that the transformational approaches in developing products, processes and technologies with local bio-resources will help in development of traditional knowledge-based therapeutic agents leading to socio-economic development as well as benefits to traditional health care practitioners.
Giving examples of various successful interventions, Dr Singh stated that about 50 tissue-culture raised plantlets of elite varieties of strawberry are also proposed to be distributed to the farmers in Manipur. Moreover, a target of producing four lakhs certifiable disease-free quality plants of Khasi Mandarin and Sweet Orange within three years along with training to 1,000 farmers of the region has been fixed. The large-scale production of Malbhog banana fruits is also planned.