From the President’s Desk

The rich legacy of BAIF is strewn with historical events, messages from the Founder of BAIF and celebration of various important national and international events. We bring before our esteemed visitors, our journey in Rural Development and our plans of commemorating important events scheduled this year with wholehearted participation of the rural community.

August 24, 2021

BAIF completes 54 years of service in Rural Development

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.

President Dr. Zakir Hussain with Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. V.P. Naik and Shri. Annasaheb Shinde, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, at the inauguration of BAIF.

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.

July18, 2021

BAIF Central Research Station: Premier Technology Development Centre

On July 18, 1973, the Foundation Stone of BAIF Central Research Station was laid at Urulikanchan near Pune by Hon’ble Shri. Y.B. Chavan, the-then Union Finance Minister and Chairman of BAIF. In 1971, BAIF had received 200 heifers of Holstein Friesian and Jersey breeds from Denmark which had been housed at this campus. In the absence of adequate finance, the construction of the laboratories was delayed. Manibhaiji explained the noble cause for which the facility was needed, to Shri. B.G. Shirke, a local entrepreneur, who agreed to support and brought down the cost of construction to 30% of the market rate. The building was completed in record time. The laboratories became functional from January 1974.

Chairman, BAIF, Shri. Y.B. Chavan, laying the foundation stone of CRS in 1973. Shri. Shirke was also present on this occasion.

Today, the Research Centre, spread over 227 ha, with world-class laboratories, exotic bull mother farm and bull station, is engaged in state-of-the-art applied research, demonstration and extension of latest technologies in agro-based livelihood activities and is one of the Centres of Excellence in Animal husbandry and allied activities in India.

July 7, 2021

The BAIF Brundtland Connection

On July 7, 1987, Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway and Chairperson of the Brundtland Commission, who had come to New Delhi to launch the Report of the Brundtland Commission – “Our Common Future”, took a special flight to Urulikanchan near Pune, to view BAIF’s afforestation programme which was very popular in the country. She was very impressed with the Subabul plantation.

In 1976, “Hawaiian Giant” type of Leucaena had transformed most of the barren lands of BAIF into Leucaena seed farms while leading wood-based industries, procured Leucaena wood from BAIF for production of paper and newsprint. Considering its utility and benefits, in 1981, Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, renamed the “Kubabul” plant as “Subabul”.BAIF launched several Agroforestry, Wastelands Development and Industrial Greenbelt Development Projects in collaboration with leading Industries and Forest Department across the country.

June 19, 2021

BAIF Bhavan completes 25 Years

June 19, 1996 – The dream of the Founder of BAIF, Dr. Manibhai Desai, to establish a unique training centre in Pune to impart management skills to professionals and field functionaries engaged in rural development, was fulfilled when Mr. Stanley Gooch, High Commissioner of Canada in India, inaugurated the “BAIF Bhavan” and “Dr. Manibhai Desai Management Training Centre” at Warje in Pune. The Training Centre with its spacious Classrooms, Seminar hall, Board room, Canteen and Guest house, is spread over 8 acres. Trainings are imparted on Rural Livelihoods, Watershed Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Project Management, People’s Organisations and Soft skills.

June 19, 2021 – This year marks the 25th year of the inauguration of BAIF Bhavan and Dr. Manibhai Desai Management Training Centre. The green cover amidst fast-paced urban development, and serene surroundings, have developed a harmonious relationship among the BAIF professionals in the premises and a close bond with the organisation. The model Training Centre, is one of its kinds in the country. For the BAIF family, BAIF Bhavan is much more than a structure. It is a part of their lives.

June 5, 2021

‘We may adopt modern technologies from the west, but we should never overlook the pragmatic approach adopted in ancient times to restore the eco-system”.

Dr. Manibhai Desai

Celebration of World Environment Day at BAIF

Environmental protection has always been the main agenda of BAIF while fighting the war against rural poverty. Following the pattern of earlier years, this year too, World Environment Day, a very important day in the calendar of BAIF, will be observed throughout its operational areas in 12 states, by organising various programmes on environmental security and sustainability on the chosen global theme “Ecosystem Restoration”. A solemn pledge to continue the journey of conservation of natural resources and prevention of ecosystem degradation, will mark the day apart from making dedicated effort to encourage afforestation, prevent environmental pollution and create awareness among the general public who also include the future generations of the country while fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals. 29 years ago, the “Green Cross” was launched by BAIF as its commitment to Environmental Protection and Conservation of Forests. The saga continues.

Native Forest with Native Trees

Miyawaki Forest at BAIF Central Research Station at Urulikanchan

Miyawaki is the name of the Japanese scientist, who recreated the Native Forest with Native Trees model. It implies dense plantation as seen in natural forest. The Miyawaki model accelerates the growth of trees and establishes the natural forest within 2-3 years. The natural ecosystem is in-built in the dense forest. The benefits of this model forest are improved microclimate, soil fertility development, water holding capacity and increase in the habitat for birds, insects and soil microorganisms.