Agricultural Biotechnology

Indian agriculture has undergone complete transformation post-independence. In the beginning, high yielding plant varieties were developed by hybridization followed by selection for higher yield and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses which lead to the Green Revolution. Being highly populated country, foremost objectives was to provide sufficient food to feed the millions of hungry mouths, hence major emphasis was on quantity rather than nutritional quality of the agricultural produce. Now we are facing a major challenge from the Hidden Hunger because of malnutrition in a sizable section of the society. Hence, there is urgent need to develop crop varieties bio-fortified with proteins and micronutrients. To supplement the ongoing efforts in the country, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India established National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute at Mohali, Punjab in 2010 to undertake various overlapping research activities encompassing the areas of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition biology. Presently, the institute is working in the area of improving cereals for nutrition and processing quality, genome editing, genomics and computational biology approaches for marker and gene discovery. The major emphasis of the institute would be on the following programmes:

  1. Development of designer crops with high nutrition, increased shelf life and processing quality
  2. Genomics and computational biology for marker and gene discovery
  3. Basic biology for crop improvement.