June 7 was an important dateline in the calendar of BAIF/BAIF Livelihoods and ACG Cares Foundation. On this day, under the joint CSR partnership, a watershed and spring shed development and Climate Change and Mitigation Project was launched at Zagalwadi village in Khandala block of Satara district of Maharashtra – one of the designated scope areas apart from Lohom, Limbachiwadi, Karnwadi and Ghadgewadi villages. 50 enthusiastic volunteers from the Shirval factory of ACG, Mr. Zakir Shukri, Plant Head, Mr. Umesh Patil, General Manager – HR, Mr. Sunil Kumar – Head – CSR, Mr. Sandip Jadhav, Administrative Manager, ACG Cares Foundation and Mr. Chandrashekhar Walke, CSR Manager were present on the occasion. Driven by the desire to save Mother Planet from degradation, the volunteers took a pledge to plant 100 fruit and forestry plants with the mission of transforming barren land into productive environmentally sustainable plantations along with the village community. The BAIF/BAIF Livelihoods team was represented by Dr. Rajashree Joshi, Programme Director, Mr. Sudhir Wagle, Chief Programme Executive, Mr. Waman Kulkarni, Chief Thematic Programme Executive, Mr. Mukul Baviskar, Additional Chief Programme Executive and Mr. Pankaj Katte, Project Officer. The village display board inaugurated in the presence of the 270-strong village community, Gram Panchayat leaders and CSR partners, marked the launch of the project and the joint commitment to ensure a safe environment.
The Global Environment Community including the United Nations, has been setting targets to control global warming for saving the future generation. However, the pace of temperature rise has accelerated unexpectedly due to over use of non-renewable energy sources because of which, climate change impacts are being faced by the present generation itself. Thus, this current generation does not have any option before it to cut down on emissions and thereby ensure their own safe living on this planet.
At BAIF, we have strong and large-scale programmes to ride on and contribute to mitigation. However, we need to gear up our efforts to contribute to carbon positive development.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, let us ramp up our Carbon positive initiatives.
Bharat Kakade, President, BAIF
World Environment Day was celebrated by BAIF, its participant families and corporate partners across various locations through demonstration of various Nature-positive initiatives.
Madhya Pradesh: Village cleanliness, tree planting and conservation were well demonstrated by enthusiastic village leaders and village community and also by the participants of the agri-horti-forestry (wadi) programme under the FDP Wadi Development Programme at Gopalpura and Dhamaniya Jali villages in Mandsaur district. The event was jointly organised by HDFC Bank under its Parivartan Initiative and BAIF.
School children and women Self Help Groups led the campaign for promotion of a plastic-free environment with the slogan “Beat Plastic Pollution – If you can’t reuse it, refuse it” at Berchha and Kalsi villages, Nagada, Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh. The participants undertook a tour of the entire village for spreading awareness among the village community and also took a pledge to stay away from bio-degradable wastes and thereby save Mother Earth. The event was jointly organised by Grasim Jan Seva Trust and BAIF.
Maharashtra: A tree plantation drive was organised at Jawulgaon in Wardha district, with the active participation of school children and the village community. Mr. R.K. Sharma, Head – Human Resources, Evonith Metallics Ltd., graced the occasion. On this occasion, a women-led Turmeric enterprise was also inaugurated at Bhugaon, Wardha district, with the involvement of Pragati Self Help Group.
BAIF in association with Gulf Oil Lubricants India Limited, organised a plantation programme to symbolize the need to green degraded lands at Barwadpada, Jawhar in Palghar district in the presence of the Gulf Oil Silvassa Plant Head, Mr. Ankur Jain, HR team and CSR Coordinator, Hinduja Foundation, Mr. Benedict Poshapir.
Bihar: Nature-positive initiatives such as tree planting and conservation drive and greening of village premises were launched at Dharhara, Munger, under the Holistic Rural Development Programme supported by “Parivartan” initiative of HDFC Bank with active participation of the village community. On this occasion, a pledge was also taken to save and protect the environment and lectures on environmental protection organised to create environmental awareness on a large scale.
Nature-positive initiatives through tree plantation and plastic-free environment drives were undertaken at Kaprada in Valsad, Gujarat, Barmer and Gudalmalani in Barmer, Rajasthan, Kasira in Sundargarh, Andharikata in Anugul, Badaberana in Cuttack and Basiapada in Sambalpur, Odisha and suitable climate proofing measures were undertaken at Madakkal, Karadikkal, Manjugiri, Sulagunta and Arulnatham in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu and various other operational areas of BAIF.
Soil is vital to human life as it impacts major ecosystem services such as food, water quality, groundwater, stream flow and soil erosion. Soil plays a very important role in supplying nutrients and favourable physicochemical conditions to plant growth, promoting and sustaining crop production, providing habitat for soil organisms, reducing environmental pollution, resisting degradation and maintaining or improving human and animal health. The major challenges impacting the soil ecosystem are rainfed farming, high soil erosion and climate risks, and lack of understanding about soil health and low crop yields. Land degradation worldwide is considered to be the major reason for low productivity. The current agricultural practices and climate challenges are causing soil erosion faster than the natural process of replenishment of soils. Estimates indicate that nearly 50 percent of the irrigated land in arid and semi-arid regions have some degree of salinization. As per Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) reports, the area under problem soils has increased from 220 lakh hectares (2005) to 243 lakh hectares (2010). This indicates that there is scope for improving the health of problem soils in India and sustaining it by creating awareness, promoting regenerative practices, and monitoring for ensuring healthy and secure food and water, carbon sequestration, a healthy environment, and an ecosystem. Sustainable soil health management contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3 6, 13, and 15.
Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) is an important soil health indicator for its contribution to food production, climate change adaptation and mitigation. SOC can be lost as CO2 or CH4 can be emitted back into the atmosphere as eroded soil material or dissolved organic carbon washed into rivers and oceans.
Why is soil health important?
SOC management worldwide plays an important role in voluntary carbon markets as it is linked with carbon stocks. The turnover which may be in a few months, years, or for an even longer duration, fetches carbon credits to farmers. The factors affecting SOC are climate- extreme events like drought, flood and rise in temperature, land use, vegetation, Hydrology (Water content) and Soil texture.
Practices to convert soil into net carbon sinks:
- Soil conservation measures such as contour bunds, vegetation/plantation/grass development on bunds, silvopasture, agroforestry, afforestation and forest conservation.
- Ensure proper drainage conditions in waterlogged soils, particularly in wetlands and rice fields which are the largest sources of methane emissions.
- Application of water in required quantity as well as quality.
- Integration of organic fertilizer and manure
- Use of vermicompost and biochar produced from unused crop residues and green manuring.
- Cover crops, crop rotation, and crop diversification.
- Integrated Pest Management.
- Supply balance plant nutrients based on soil tests and nutrient analysis.
Rambhau Wagh, a farmer from Parkhed village near Khamgaon, Buldhana district of Maharashtra, owns 1.2 ha land. He has always been encountering low productivity and high production cost. On realising the importance of healthy soils, he took up vermicompost production and sold the surplus to nearby farmers.
He established six beds of 3 x 1 x 0.75 m size to produce 0.25 tons/bed/cycle which is now fetching him an additional income of INR 3500 per cycle.
Jyotiben Khatariya from Ambapur village in Gandhidham district of Gujarat was unable to cultivate her 5 acres of land due to high salinity. After observing the effect of subsurface drainage on others’ fields she replicated it on her land and was able to fetch a good yield from cotton and mustard crops.
Burning of unused crop residue, a common practice among farmers in India, contributes to carbon emission. To address this issue, a Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) established a biochar production unit which enabled farmers to sell their waste biomass to the FPO and purchase biochar to apply it on their fields. The FPO was able to convert 100 tons of crop residues into 25 tons of biochar last year thereby contributing to circular economy.
Likewise, the farmers in the Belikere watershed have a practice of using crop residues to improve the soil fertility and residue as mulch.
Thus, farmers not only contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality but also ensure food security through suitable climate change adaption and mitigation strategies.
How can farmers be benefitted?
Selling carbon credits by adopting regenerative agriculture for carbon sequestration is now an opportunity for Indian farmers. Farmers can become carbon credit owners by managing soil health and use renewable energy for irrigation and home consumption.
- Carbon Credit:One carbon credit certifies that one metric ton of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere.
- Carbon Markets aimat reduction in greenhouse gas emissions enabling the trading of emission units (carbon credits), which are certificates representing emission reductions.
- Carbon Offsetting: Upfront support to farmers is helpful for claiming credits.
- Benefits: The direct benefit to farmers is cash-based incentives for the carbon sequestered on their lands. On sequestering carbon equivalent to one carbon credit, farmers can earn approximately INR 800-1200 at current market prices which are likely to fetch a better price of INR 3,000-4000 in the near future. There is potential to sequester one to four carbon credits per ha through the use of regenerative practices. The indirect benefit is the improvement in soil health, increased water-holding capacity, lower soil density and increased water.
- On boarding: As individual farmer registration is not easy, farmers can be on board through farmer producer organisations or non-profits or commercial entities that provide related services.
- Verification and Payments: Once the projects are listed, third-party agencies such as The Gold Standard, Climate Action Reserve, American Carbon Registry, Verra, SCS Global Services etc. verify the After verification and approval, credits are sold in markets and the incentives are distributed to the FPO as well as to the farmers.
The 103rd Birth Anniversary of our Founder, Dr. Manibhai Desai was observed as a day of fond remembrance, immense admiration, gratitude, pride and inspiration. While many have had the privilege of working with Dr. Manibhai Desai, there are others who have never met him but have drawn inspiration from his dedication and commitment to Rural Development.
The rich legacy left behind by Dr. Manibhai Desai in the form of an organization which is continuing his noble mission and Gandhian ideals which are responsible for sensitization of every member of the BAIF family to the chronic problems of the rural poor, are the most valuable assets of those associated with BAIF.
Thus, the observance of his birth anniversary across BAIF renewed the devotion of the staff to the organization and determination to continue to contribute to the goals of sustainable development and a clean environment.
Rice Varieties “Kirti ” and “Madhura “, developed by Mavanji Pawar, an innovative tribal farmer from Jawhar, Palghar District of Maharashtra, have been recognised and registered under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights (PPV &FRA), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare, Government of India. “Kirti” variety is a short, bold and reddish-coloured upland rice which matures at 110-115 days, blast resistant and boasting of a grain yield of 10-15 quintals per acre. “Madhura“ variety is a long and slender with good swelling quality, white-coloured upland rice which matures at 110-115 days, water-stress tolerant and with a grain yield of 17-20 quintals per acre.
Kirti Rice Variety
Madhura Rice Variety
This innovative rice breeder had developed another upland rice variety – “Kamal” which was registered under PPV &FRA in the year 2022. This unassuming conservationist, a recipient of the Government of India-awarded ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmer’ award 2012-13 also shared his experiences in rice breeding and conservation at the C-20 Conference held at Palghar in May 2023. Mavanji is closely associated with BAIF and enjoys imparting hands-on training and guiding other farmers in conservation and protection of crop cultivar diversity under the Agro-biodiversity conservation programme being implemented by BAIF as a nature-positive initiative.
The 103rd Birth Anniversary of our Founder, Dr. Manibhai Desai was observed as a day of fond remembrance, immense admiration, gratitude, pride and inspiration. While many have had the privilege of working with Dr. Manibhai Desai, there are others who have never met him but have drawn inspiration from his dedication and commitment to Rural Development. The rich legacy left behind by Dr. Manibhai Desai in the form of an organization which is continuing his noble mission and Gandhian ideals which are responsible for sensitization of every member of the BAIF family to the chronic problems of the rural poor, are the most valuable assets of those associated with BAIF. Thus, the observance of his birth anniversary across BAIF renewed the devotion of the staff to the organization and determination to continue to contribute to the goals of sustainable development and a clean environment.
BAIF and INRAE Partnership Consolidated
“Namaste from France” set the tone of the process of consolidation of the more than four decades-old BAIF-INRAE association. This cordial expression by Philippe Mauguin, CEO, National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE), Paris, France, who along with his senior team of scientists comprising of Madame Segolene Halley Des Fontaines, Director, International Relations and Dr. Edmond Rock, Scientific Officer, visited the BAIF Central Research Station at Urulikanchan near Pune on Friday, April 21, heralded the extension of the historical alliance between the two organisations. BAIF and INRAE signed the Framework Cooperation Agreement for the purpose of setting the bases for the reinforcement of collaborative activities between BAIF and INRAE in each of the priorities, namely, Genetics/genomics of livestock and crops, Production Systems with agroecology transitions (land and water restoration, agrobiodiversity conservation, agroforestry, nature-based solutions), Environment Interface with a focus on IPM and pollination, Food security, Nutrition and Health included in a systemic approach at the food system level and Climate change (adaptation and resilience), carbon sequestration and emission-based models of land use patterns with circular use of resources. A Letter of Intent for Climate-Smart and Nutrition-Sensitive Food System and a Convention for supporting a Living Lab with focus on science and innovation were also signed.
While welcoming the Delegation, Mr. Bharat Kakade, President, BAIF traced the growth of the INRAE-BAIF association and expressed that this collaboration has always been based on mutual respect and confidence that the partnership will be able to benefit small and marginal farmers in India and these were the reasons for conceiving the agreements for future extension. He also highlighted the extent of this association by quoting that more than 50 scientists from BAIF have been trained at INRAE and other research institutes in France in advancements in livestock research, more than 20 scientists from INRAE have visited BAIF for collaborative research programmes and about 60 students from French academic institutes have been hosted at BAIF for field experiences in livestock and agricultural development.
Philippe Mauguin expressed gratitude for the predecessors from INRAE and BAIF in working out possibilities for cattle management and milk improvement and which has now led to the attention on genomics. He expressed admiration for the progressive expansion of BAIF in various aspects of climate actions such as its immediate focus on reduction in enteric emission and promotion of low-carbon agriculture.
Dr. Jayant Khadse, Director – Research, BAIF, highlighted the visit of Mr. Michel Rocard, then Agriculture Minister, France, to BAIF at Urulikanchan in 1983, lunch hosted by Madame Rocard in 1989 in honour of the Founder of BAIF, Dr. Manibhai Desai in Paris, visit of Mrs. Marion Guillou, Président, INRAE in 2007, tripartite agreement between BAIF, INRA and CIRAD in 2003 in Delhi and a MoU signed between INRAE and BAIF in 2018.
Dr. Ashok Pande, Group Vice President, (Scientific Research and Livestock Development), BAIF, stated that 12 to 13 million doses of frozen semen are produced by BAIF’s state-of-the-art semen freezing laboratories of which 45% is used by BAIF in its field programmes spread across 13 states and the rest is made available for other agencies. He also highlighted the fact that the conception rate of progeny born through BAIF programme is 48% which has been achieved only due to the expertise of the field Artificial Insemination technicians and that the immediate goal was to increase the conception rate to 60%.
The delegation visited various research facilities such as the advanced animal nutrition, genetics and genomics, semen production bank, molecular genetics laboratory, gene bank native seeds, forage research programme, sustainable agriculture and cactus research trials, Integrated Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture (IRESA) model based on cow dung slurry and BIO-PROM – Phosphate Rich Organic Manure Production Unit, Ova Pick Up and In-vitro Fertilisation, Embryo Transfer Laboratory and Sex sorted semen laboratory for ensuring production of female calves and thereby enhancing the milk yield, productivity and income of small farmers.
Later, in the online session with BAIF teams across all the states, Mr. Kakade once again welcomed the delegates and introduced the audience comprising of senior management of BAIF from all the states and from the Head Office of BAIF in Pune to the dignitaries. Philippe Mauguin stated that on the beautiful campus of BAIF, the two organisations had come together to strengthen their partnership. Dr. Khadse presented an overview of the research programmes being implemented at the BAIF technology development centre at Urulikanchan. Dr. Rajashree Joshi, Programme Director, BAIF highlighted the carbon sequestration effect of the agri-horti-forestry (wadi), land degradation neutrality focus of the natural resources management programme, agrobiodiversity conservation and women empowerment programmes. Mr. Kakade also apprised the delegates about the fact that the agri-horti-forestry model has so far, covered more than 200,000 families and has been extended by NABARD to almost all the states and the NRM programme of BAIF fitted in well with the United Nations Land Degradation Neutrality parameters. He also cited the example of the pilot effort by tribal women groups to revive interest in traditional food through the operation of food outlets. Vision 2030 of BAIF aimed at increasing the number of families from 4 million to 10 million, through climate smart farm, non-farm, livestock, water, and new-age technological interventions, Mr. Kakade added. Philippe Mauguin expressed confidence in the success of BAIF.
Philippe Mauguin introduced INRAE to the online audience and stated that its vision of science for people, life and earth made it not very far from BAIF. He highlighted on the strong involvement of INRAE on innovation.
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Kakade thanked the delegation for showing interest in the work of BAIF and reiterated the value of this partnership and the goal of ensuring benefits to the small farmers and taking knowledge even to African countries.
Apr. 07, 2023
The joy and pride of the villagers of Gavandapada, Nyahale Budruk Gram Panchayat in Jawhar block, Palghar district of Maharashtra was evident. Mr. Ravindra Chavan, Hon. Cabinet Minister – Public Works, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Government of Maharashtra and Guardian Minister of Palghar accompanied by Mr. Govind Bodake, IAS, Collector – Palghar District, Mrs. Ayushi Singh, IAS, Sub Divisional Officer, Jawhar and Project Officer Integrated Tribal Development Programme and Mr. Prakash Nikam, President, Zilla Parishad, Palghar, had graced their village to view the Holistic Village Development Project being implemented by BAIF Maharashtra and supported by Panasonic Life Solutions India.
The project impact was visible. 87% of the village population (around 5603 inhabitants of Nyahale Budruk village) are enjoying access to clean drinking water while 64% families are enjoying livelihood security with wadi, solar-powered drinking water and irrigation schemes, floriculture, commercial vegetable cultivation and innovative enterprises such as strawberry cultivation, spice cultivation, bamboo polyhouses, e-Dost, skill-based farmer group enterprises and income generation activities taken up by women SHGs. Distress migration has reduced by 40%. Under this project, support is also being extended to Government-managed schools for upgradation of existing infrastructure and promotion of digital classrooms for holistic development of school children. Hence, village development is being well demonstrated.
The dignitaries expressed appreciation for the development of remote tribal villages like Nyahale Budruk and for promotion of innovative interventions such as strawberry cultivation for upliftment of tribal families.
Mar. 29, 2023
The joint invention by BAIF and Sankalp Medi-Education Society has fetched intellectual property patent rights from the Government of India for a period of 20 years. These include exclusive rights for the inventions “Method and System for production of enriched organic fertilizer from biogas slurry separated water” granted on January 18, 2023 and “Method and System for separation of solids in biogas plant slurry for resource reutilization” granted on March 29, 2023 with enhanced scope for value addition and benefit of farmer beneficiaries.
Mar. 24-26, 2023
Farmer beneficiaries of the innovative Livestock Development programme of BAIF Maharashtra achieved a hat trick of sorts when they won four prizes at the three-day Shirdi Maha Pashudhan Expo organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Government of Maharashtra on March 24-26, 2023 at Shrikshetra Shirdi in Milking (evaluated on the basis of type of breed and milk yield of cows) and Heifer (determined on the basis of type of breed, growth and body weight) categories.
Shri. Eknath Shinde, Hon. Chief Minister, Govt. of Maharashtra felicitates the prize-winning Farmers under BAIF’s Programme
Milking Competition – First Prize with a cash prize of Rs. 51,000 was awarded to Ramesh Shankar Gunjal, a farmer from Unchkhadak village in Akole, Ahmednagar district, associated with the cattle development centre at Takali and proud owner of a cow (born out of sorted semen insemination of “Eastern” bull), which in its third lactation, is yielding 40 litres of milk/day; Second Prize with a cash prize of Rs. 21,000 was awarded to Shantaram Sampat Kasar, a farmer from Sangvi Bhusar village in Kopargaon, Ahmednagar district, associated with the cattle development centre at Dhamori and proud owner of a cow (born out of conventional semen insemination of “Hirak” bull) which in its fourth lactation is yielding 35 litres of milk/day.
Heifer Competition – First Prize with a cash prize of Rs. 51,000 was awarded to Uttam Kabaddi, a farmer from Kumbhari village in Kopargaon, Ahmednagar district, associated with the cattle development centre at Kumbhari and proud owner of a 10 month-old heifer (born out of sorted semen insemination of “Angaraj” bull; Second Prize with a cash prize of Rs. 21,000 was awarded to Bhausaheb Tatyaba Kale, a farmer from Murshatpur village in Kopargaon, Ahmednagar district, associated with the cattle development centre at Kumbhari and proud owner of a 8 month-old heifer (born out of sorted semen insemination of “Halogen” bull.
Star Performers at Mega Livestock Expo
These beneficiaries are associated with the dairy development programme of BAIF in Ahmednagar district and benefitting from the cattle development centres operating in Kopargaon, and Akole regions for more than 20 years. Since last five years, 314335 conventional AIs and 26856 sorted semen AIs have been recorded by these centres and 44,237 families have benefitted from 51 breeding and advisory services provided by these Centres.
Mar. 25, 2023