Supports grassroots innovator across the country
Sristi Innovations is a not-for-profit organization established to strengthen the capacity of grassroots inventors, innovators and ecopreneurs in the area of conserving biodiversity. “Farmers have the best farming know-how as they are the people who actually work in the fields. Innovations done by them are practically feasible and functional! However, to spread the technology and knowledge share with rest of the farming community, they need strong and reliable back-up. We at Sristi Innovations, stands by the farmers,” says Dr. Nirmal S Sahay, Chief Coordinator. It is located at Ahmadabad, Gujarat.
The organization is the brain child of Sristi, (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions). Sristi provides organizational, intellectual and logistics support to the Honey Bee Network. The ethics of knowledge extraction, its documentation, dissemination and their abstraction into theories or technologies is the central concern of the Honey Bee Network.
“We document the farmers’ on-field innovation and seek permission of the grassroot innovators to validate the same. If he agrees then first patent is applied in the name of the farmer/innovator, if the innovations are unique. We then validate and add value to local innovations through experiments (on farm and on-station) and laboratory research for generating nature-friendly sustainable technologies. We corroborate if the stated technology gives the results as claimed. We develop the products, take the trials and launch in the market,” he elaborates on the procedure of developing products based on grassroot innovations.
Organization has crafted a benefit-sharing formula in consultation with the innovators, according to which the monetary benefit and royalty received is shared with the innovator. 30% of the royalty goes to the innovator, 20% to innovation fund, 15% for R&D, 15% overhead, 5% nature, 5% community, 5% women and 5% contingency.
Since 2002 it has developed more than 50 products based on farmers’ innovation in agriculture industry. “These have the potential to solve different problem in farming like protection from pest attack, growth promoter, flower shedding preventer, cotton pest control, termite control, mealy bug controller and others.” Organization reaches the farmers across the country.
When asked how grassroots innovators contact Sristi, “We organize Shodh Yatra twice in year. In this yatra we travel 125kms (approx) on foot in 7-8 days. We travel to the most remote parts of the country with a firm belief that the hardship and challenges of natural surroundings are prime motivators of creativity and innovations. It is conducted in different parts of the country,” explains Dr. Sahay. Shodh Yatra is a journey for the search of knowledge, creativity and innovations at the grassroots. “It is also the journey of mutual exchange and sharing of knowledge. The knowledge and practices that we have pooled in over the years are shared with the villagers during the Shodh Yatra. We also share the Honey Bee database with the villagers.”
Every year Sristi’s Natural Products laboratory is involved in validation and value addition of 100+ grassroots innovations. “Only novel practice and technology are transformed for commercial products,” asserts Dr. Sahay. It takes 3-5 years for altering the innovation into end product. Growth promoters, herbal formulations to manage pest and pathogens attack have been quite successful products developed at the laboratory. The lab is bridging the gaps between informal and formal knowledge.
He concludes, “We have been striving to protect the intellectual property rights of grassroots innovators and to generate incentive models for recognizing, respecting and rewarding grassroots creativity and associated ethical values and norms. We shall continue to do so!”
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