How about a bio-tech startup?

  • BY SHEIKH UMAR AHMAD
  • Publish Date: Oct 29 2018 2:50AM
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  • Updated Date: Oct 29 2018 2:50AM
How about a bio-tech startup?Representational Pic

Kash Agro Biotech Labs is a startup dream project coming up at Jablipora area of Bijbehara town in district Anantnag. This idea of conceiving a Agro Biotech lab will be first of it’s kind in the Kashmir valley relying on rich and endemic raw material coming from aromatic & medicinal plants. It will shape them into marketable end products holding therapeutic and cosmeceutical applications for skin care and other allied medical uses. The idea dates back to my post graduation studies in Biotechnology at BGSB University Rajouri and my dissertation project at CSIR IHBT Palampur, HP.

This lab is my dream project to use my Biotechnology expertise and refine the agro-technologies for better and cost effective end products from aromatic & medicinal plants. Though this project is still in it’s infancy of conception & development, but the process is going on to prepare the detailed project & feasibility report and submit the same to funding agencies from state & centre and to Department of Science & Technology as well for it’s approval and prior consent.

I primarily being a biological sciences student with expertise in medical biotechnology want to utilize the rich flora of state in health care by identifying novel natural chemical entities, study their mode of action and any toxicity they impose if taken into body and to convert them into market based end products for public interest and to generate the wealth, in turn increasing the opportunities for unemployed technical graduates while taking the agro technology from farm to end user. This lab will focus on creating refined technologies utilizing traditional practices of using aromatic & medicinal plants in health care like in skin diseases vitiligo, psoriasis etc. Being a Ph.D Research scholar at CSIR - Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine Jammu & working on skin diseases that are associated with Ultraviolet radiation induced photo damage, my focus will be to explore the rare medicinal plants growing in the state and prepare a database of bio-molecules that are used traditionally in skin care in varied applications and then research on then to identify, extract and isolate the active biomolecules, attributed in providing them skin photo protective role, prepare a formulation and study it’s mechanistic target in association with CSIR IIIM. This will allow me wholeheartedly to work in close coordination with the research teams that work there, till the fully functional and independent lab unit is developed. In addition to this, the aromatic plants that are best known for their aromatic scent and used in perfumery will also be explored for their market driven potential and progressive farmers will be educated to come out from traditional agricultural practices and shift to cash cropping for better economic output.

This way the farmers will get better means to earn from same plot of land that was previously providing them peanuts. Additionally, the better technical guidance of able qualified technocrats will be utilized to further innovate this industry for better results at grassroots level, thus opening employment opportunities for them as well. All what is required at first place, is the funding to establish the infrastructural and laboratory setup for conception of this idea. State government entrusted science & technology department is duty bound to fund this project that will open the  multitude of business as well as employment opportunities for the general as well as educated lot of society.

In addition some vocational & training programmes will be started to encourage the budding students just passed from senior secondary schools to pursue science and enter into bio-entrepreneurship. This state of art laboratory will one day be identified as one of regional food & drugs testing laboratory keeping in view the motto of research lab.

Currently, an administrative & scientific council is to be constituted for policy framework decisions in this regard and to initiate the preparation of project report in consultation with premier scientific research organisations with state department of science & technology for incubation of this idea. Biological sciences graduates are encouraged to give their suggestions and forward their opinions if any at abiotechnologies@gmail.com.

 

(The author is currently Ph.D Research Scholar and DST INSPIRE fellow in Biotechnology at CSIR IIIM Jammu and Founder & CEO of Kash Agro-Biotech Labs Pvt. Ltd)