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Department of Bio-technology

For the socio economic upliftment of SC/ST target population a programme was sanctioned to TNBRD titled “Biotech based income and employment generation ventures to SC/ST population of Polur block of Thiruvannamalai district, Tamilnadu” especially to enhance income, employment and socioeconomic status of SC/ST population. The Project focused Vermicompost production, Mushroom production and marketing and Scientific Goat rearing.

Highlights of the projects are as follows:

Vermicompost Production

The vermicompost and vermiwash production technology is playing the vital role to enhance the standard of living of SC/ST farmers in polur block of Thiruvannamalai district. The 20 numbers of beneficiaries were selected from two Vermicompost CIGs and trained.
Training programmes were conducted to educate the importance of vermicompost, selection of vermiworm species, construction of low cost vermi compost unit, packing, storage, marketing and also vermiwash production. TNBRD has established six number of vermicompost units (Size: 10 x 3 x 3 ft) for SC/ST beneficiaries in Polur block of Thiruvannamalai district, Tamilnadu.

Mushroom production Technology

Mushroom cultivation is increasingly becoming popular because it is not only meets the dietary requirements but also added income, especially the growers with insufficient land. Mushroom cultivation in Thiruvannamalai district is neglected in the last few years although there is an increasing demand. TNBRD introduced the mushroom production technology to SC/ST beneficiaries in Polur block of Thiruvannamalai district. The selected 20 numbers of beneficiaries were provided with one number of training programme to create awareness and interest on mushroom cultivation.

Inspired by the easy method of production and being exposed to extension interventions made by TNBRD, the beneficiaries have started mushroom production. As a result, each CIGs of SC/ST people can able to harvest 150 kg mushroom from two units and generate profit of about Rs.18,000 per cycle (60 days) by selling mushroom in the nearby  kisan markets and super markets in nearby town at the rate of Rs. 170/kg. Also, the beneficiaries generated an additional income Rs.4500.00 /month through mushroom based value added products such as mushroom soup and mushroom pickle.

Scientific Goat rearing

Goats are popularly known as “Poor man’s cow” with the background of positive lead to enhance income, employment and socioeconomic status of SC/ST population. Thiruvannamalai district is vastly rich in goat population; fortunately many of them are non-descriptive. These non-descriptive goats are genetically low in weight gain, less prolific and also act as paradise of parasites. Interestingly, Tellicherry is a breed of Kerala with high in weight gain, more prolific in nature and also well acclimatized in Thiruvannamalai district.
Hence, TNBRD introduced and demonstrated 11 no’s of Tellicherry Buck into the selected beneficiaries from CIGs of SC/ST population to improve the genetic potential of local non-descriptive stocks. Two numbers of training programmes were organized for them to improve their knowledge in the areas of selection of goat breeds, fodder varieties, deworming techniques, disease management, ethnoveterinary medicine and marketing aspects.

The impact of Tellicherry Buck in the province of non-descriptive goats is highly productive. Every CIG having nearly 10 numbers of female non-descriptive goats and all are yielded healthy Tellicherry crossbred kids through the genetic upgradation. Average birth weight of these newly born kids weighing about 2.5 kgs which is remarkably better than non-descriptive kids (1.7 Kgs). Now the newly born kids and given tellicherry bucks are provided with salt lick for their mineral supplement and the farmers are rearing their goat units with advanced scientific management practices.