HT, 13 October 2016, KOLKATA: The state government is soon going to set up four biotechnology hubs across Bengal.

The scientists, who would be deployed in the hubs, will provide training to farmers for a new type of cultivation that will produce more fruit and medicinal herbs.
“For example, banana trees wilt after producing the fruit once. But the new banana saplings will allow the farmers to produce at least three times in a year. The farmers in these hubs will be given training to get accustomed with this new technology,” said Asish Banerjee, state science and technology minister.
The hubs will be set up in Burdwan, East Midnapore, Bankura and Kalimpong.
While in the other three hubs, training for production of fruit and other medicinal herbs will be given, in Kalimpong, training for production of Cinchona will be provided and saplings given.
According to him, the government is planning to produce more fruit and medicinal herbs that have a good demand on daily basis.
In order to produce it, the government, with the help of scientists of Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, produced new kind of saplings that will provide fruits three times in a year.
“These new saplings have been tested in the biotechnology laboratory of West Midnapore where a lot of scientist and experts were involved. After we got a successful result, we decided to use it practically. It has been decided that before giving it to the farmers, they will be given training,” said the science and technology minister.
The minister said that apart from providing training, saplings will also be produced.
“Cinchona is essential for producing quinine, a lifesaving drug for malaria patients but after producing once, the tree wilts. We have accordingly put stress on producing Cinchona,” the minister said.
Apart from herb and fruits, the technology is also applicable for producing fish. Already, the biotechnology department has held a meeting with the fisheries minister as well as scientists working on it.
“With this new technology, fish will also be produced on a large scale,” said the minister.
The scientists, who would be deployed in the hubs, will provide training to farmers for a new type of cultivation that will produce more fruit and medicinal herbs The hubs will be set up in Burdwan, East Midnapore, Bankura and Kalimpong. While in the other three hubs, training for production of fruit and other medicinal herbs will be given, in Kalimpong, training for production of Cinchona will be provided and saplings given.