Aug 24, 2022 :
“With an all-time high outreach of 31 lakh families in a year and the farm-based livelihood popularly known as the wadi programme also crossing a coverage of one lakh families in 2021-22, enabling the programme participants to earn Rs. 30,000 to Rs. one lakh per year and even more additional income, the year 2021-22 was an year of achievements”, stated Mr. Bharat Kakade, President and Managing Trustee of BAIF. Mr. Kakade was speaking at the 56th Foundation Day of BAIF, a voluntary organisation founded by a Gandhian, Late Dr. Manibhai Desai and which today, is working in 93,738 villages in 325 districts of 13 states in India. The Foundation Day was celebrated at the BAIF Central Research Station at Urulikanchan, near Pune. The Foundation Day of BAIF is an Inspiration Day for everyone associated with BAIF, he added. The climate change adaptation programme has reached 300 villages across different agro climatic regions of the country. New programmes including ‘Samruddha Gram’ (holistic village development) launched in 52 villages with the good support of HDFC Bank and other corporate partners with an aim at village prosperity, Cutting edge technologies such as Ova Pick Up/In Vitro Fertilisation to produce high genetic merit embryos of dairy cattle and taking it to the field successfully, release of new fodder varieties BAIF Bajra 5 and BAIF Bajra 6 by ICAR, work on SNP-Chip for genotyping Indian breeds, mass plantation of 17 lakh seedlings by mobilising support of all concerned State departments and ensuring their survival, registration of Ashwini variety of rice (developed by the farmer Shri. Sunil Kamadi) with Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority (PPV&FRA), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare, Government of India, felicitation of wadi farmer Shri. Vinod Bhengra, role model in the area, by Chief Minister of Jharkhand have been the other achievements, he further added.
Launch of three new programmes namely, Jan-Samvad – understanding the needs of the families and responding accordingly which is already in force in South Gujarat covering 3000 families on a pilot basis with a plan for expansion in all the operational areas of BAIF, Jana Adhikar, facilitating the rural people to access and get benefit of the social welfare programmes of Government, and the social enterprise programme – Kisan Mart with a plan to reach one crore families were announced by Mr. Kakade. The other key programme initiatives include, launch of nature positive solutions in agriculture, pro-carbon initiatives through soil health and agroforestry and developing women farmer leaderships in farming. The emergence of 50 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) in BAIF operational areas with the support of NABARD, promotion of strong FPOs under the SAMADHAN Project with Hindustan Zinc Ltd. including the Centre of Excellence in dairy under the same partnership and the success story of Karimnagar Breeders Welfare Association (dairy farmers’ association), which is operating 53 AI centres and achieving an impressive milk collection of 1.5 lakh litres daily were the other notable achievements. BAIF ensured uninterrupted supply of Liquid Nitrogen to all the 4200 livestock development centres and also provided services to dairy farmers without any break during the most adverse situation due to COVID lockdown in the country, he concluded.
Mr. Hrishikesh Mafatlal, Chairman, BAIF, hailed the expansion and development in BAIF in the last one year through the promotion of embryo transfer technology of indigenous breed, carbon sequestration of wadi, pioneering work in natural resource management, launch of the Kisan Mart in Maharashtra and Rajasthan and advised the team to keep working with the principle of cooperation with farmers as the first thing in mind.
The Guest of Honour, Ms. Anupam Nidhi, Associate Vice President and Head – CSR, Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Udaipur reiterated the need to focus on institutionalisation of the development programmes and the four qualities of life as had been advocated by Shri. Arvindbhai Mafatlal, namely “Anna”, “Akshar”, “Arogya” and “Aacharan” for food security, digitalisation of technology, growth at the cluster level through farmer producer organisations, including women in technology development and operating agriculture as a business. Guest of Honour, Shri. Rajesh Parjane, Chairman of Godavari Khore Namdeorao Parjane Patil taluka Sahakari Dudh Utpadak Sangh Maryadit, Kopargaon, highlighted the long association between BAIF and Godavari Milk Union. The Chief Guest, Mr. G.S. Rawat, Chief General Manager, NABARD, emphasised the strong collaboration between BAIF and NABARD and the milestone wadi programme with BAIF which has created an impact and the future attention on agriculture and rural development and reiterated the need to keep the community connect intact and to make use of digital technology while nurturing the ecology and emphasised on data generation authenticity an data analytics.
Mr. Kishor Chaukar, Trustee, BAIF, identified ability to develop and contribute significantly to science and development which he said was the basis of human development, use of one’s knowledge and science and technology for the country as the three learnings provided by BAIF. Mr. Girish Sohani, Principal Adviser and Trustee, hailed the impact of the cattle development in reaching lakhs of families, the wadi programme in being implemented in several states and being replicated in more than 20 states with the support of NABARD and the progress towards the future through the promotion of Integrated Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture (IRESA).
The “Dr. Manibhai Desai Gaurav Puraskar” and “Smt.Vijaya Deshmukh Memorial Award” for “Best Self Help Group in BAIF Programmes” was awarded to “Samarth Women’s Group”, Kaprada, Valsad, Gujarat. “Maa Tapti Women’s Group” from Betul, Madhya Pradesh was awarded “Smt. Vijaya Deshmukh Memorial Award” for the “Second Best Self Help Group in BAIF Programmes” and the “Smt. Vijaya Deshmukh Memorial Award” for the Best Self Help Group in Maharashtra was given to “Saheli Women’s Group” from Amravati district, Maharashtra. The other awards included Best Agriculture Farmer to Mr. Gova Raam, Barmer, Rajasthan, Mr. Sunil Kamadi, Jawhar, Palghar, Maharashtra for developing Ashwini rice variety, Best Woman Farmer to Ms. Mamta Devi, Munger, Bihar, Best Dairy Farmer to Ravindra Pharate, Shirur, Pune, Highest No. of AIs by cattle development centre worker – Balasaheb Khedekar, Urulikanchan, Maharashtra; Best Cattle Development Multi Activity Centre worker Anil Kumar Mishra from Balangir, Odisha and G. Upender from Peddasuraram, Telangana for highest number of conventional semen and sorted semen inseminations.
The BAIF and BAIF Livelihoods Annual Reports, Research Report, 4 books on Agrobiodiversity Conservation and 2 books on Azolla were also released on the occasion. Felicitation of meritorious students, awards to Best Scientific Papers and Case Studies, Research Team and Best Farm Workers at Urulikanchan were the other award categories.
Earlier, Dr. Ashok Pande, Group Vice President (Scientific Research and Livestock Development), BAIF, delivered the welcome address. Dr. Jayant Khadse, Research Director, BAIF, proposed the vote of thanks. Shri. Shrinivas Kulkarni, Group Vice President – Finance, Shri. Sujit Gijare, Group Vice President – Human Resources and Administration, Shri. Alok Juneja, Vice President (Programmes and Livestock Development), Dr. Rajashree Joshi, Programme Director, other BAIF teams from Pune and Urulikanchan and well-wishers and supporters of BAIF from Urulikanchan and Pune were also present on the occasion.