BAIF Development Research Foundation
BAIF Development Research Foundation (formerly registered as the Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation), is a reputed voluntary organisation established in 1967 by Dr. Manibhai Desai, a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi, at Urulikanchan, near Pune to promote sustainable livelihood in Rural India. Emphasising on the development sector, Girish Sohani (President and Managing Trustee, BAIF Research Centre Foundation, Pune) mentioned that three innovations have taken place in the sector. Two of these have been adopted by BAIF organisation. The first one on cattle development through breeding was able to reach the remote villages in Indian conditions. The technological backup required for cattle breeding did not exist earlier in the country, he added. In the West, four wheelers were used for carrying cryogenic equipment. Minnesota Valley Corporation, which makes the cryogenic equipment, developed the method of carrying cryogenic equipment on a motorcycle. Besides, a special container to carry the sophisticated equipment was designed for India and now, frozen semen is being transported to 80,000 villages. The second innovation, Vadi project, which is being implemented in tribal villages, takes into account their lifestyle and ethos such as trees, forests, breaking the barriers of vertical division common in the government sector. The forest department does not encourage the planting of mango trees. But mango has economic importance for the tribal people. So, how to break the vertical barriers and still help the tribal people? This has been achieved with NABARD’s support, which keeps the tribal needs in perspective. The other innovations in the social sector include the Watershed Development Programme. The innovation has started giving results with the people’s participation. Allocations are made to the community of people who later decide the sub-allocations to micro units. Thus, the paradigm shift has taken place with people gaining control from official agencies. More innovations can evolve instead of the bureaucracy picking and choosing. After all, innovator is also part of the ecosystem and more innovations can be nurtured with the people in the centre. NABARD has contributed tremendously towards this end.
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