NIF buys over 35 grassroots innovations from farmers

Ahmedabad-based National Innovation Foundation has instituted a grassroots Technology Acquisition Fund,under which it has already purchased 39 improved varieties of various crops — for Rs 13 lakh — from 24 farmers who developed them.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: February 23, 2012 2:28:18 am

Ahmedabad-based National Innovation Foundation has instituted a grassroots Technology Acquisition Fund (TAF),under which it has already purchased 39 improved varieties of various crops — for Rs 13 lakh — from 24 farmers who developed them.

“Under TAF,NIF intends to obtain the rights of technologies from innovators after compensating them (and) then look to disseminate them widely at low cost or no cost for the larger benefit of society,” the Foundation said in a statement.

The statement added that further research may be done in some cases and that it is open to partnering with interested companies for the entire process.

Whatever revenue accrues from these sales,the Foundation said,a “fair share” would be given to the innovative farmers over and above the compensation paid for the rights of technologies.

The first set of purchases was made during a joint meeting with the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA),New Delhi,on Tuesday. As many as 39 improved varieties of 15 crops,including paddy,wheat,mustard,bean,pigeon pea,cardamom and pepper,were bought from 24 farmers belonging to eight states,all of whom had earlier been enlisted in NIF’s database.

For the current financial year,TAF has a budget of Rs 80 lakh,said NIF’s Chief Innovation Officer Vipin Kumar.

Kumar said the price for each technology is decided by the innovator and a committee under the NIF,and that there are spirited efforts to keep prices low in the name of providing services to the nation,as against pure commercial interests. “…Innovators continue to exercise full rights over the entire marketing process used for their technologies,” he said,adding,it is only coincidental that the first set of purchases was all from the agriculture sector.

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