On August 24, 1967, the Foundation Stone of BAIF was laid at Urulikanchan, near Pune, by the-then President of India, Dr. Zakir Hussain. It took 20 years for Dr. Manibhai Desai, who came to Urulikanchan in 1946 with Mahatma Gandhi, to develop a suitable income generation programme to address rural poverty. With the support of farmer leaders of Maharashtra, Manibhai established a Charitable Trust – “Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation” (BAIF) to ensure remunerative employment for rural households at par with Industries and which was later renamed as “BAIF Development Research Foundation” to reiterate its focus on research and development for transferring modern, appropriate technologies to small farmers. The Founder Trustees included Shri. Yashwantrao Chavan, the-then Defence Minister of India as the Chairman, Shri. Vasantrao Naik, Chief Minister of Maharashtra as the Vice Chairman and Shri. Annasaheb Shinde, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, as Trustee. Later, Shri. Arvind Mafatlal joined the Trust as Chairman.
BAIF has contributed innovative and replicable models of development across the country. The climate-resilient multidisciplinary development programmes, professionally managed by more than 6000 employees, are benefitting 40 lakh families from 80,000 villages of 328 districts in 12 states. Over the years, various dignitaries have visited Urulikanchan including Prime Minister of India, Shri. Morarji Desai in 1977 and President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2002. Prime Minister of India. Shri. Narendra Modi addressed BAIF through video conference on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee in 2017.
On the occasion of its 55th Foundation Day on August 24, 2021, BAIF acknowledges the valuable guidance of its Trustees and support of its donors, well-wishers and participant families.