Dadaji Ramaji Khobragade

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Dadaji Ramaji Khobragade (Marathi: दादाजी रामाजी खोब्रागडे; died 3 June 2018)[1] was an Indian cultivator who invented a high-yielding variety of paddy, HMT.[2]

Khobragade belonged to the little forest village of Nanded in Nagbhid village of Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.

Around 1983, Khobragade noticed few spikes of a new variety of paddy in his farm, which he experimented on in the years to come. The variety was found giving high yields compared to the varieties available at that time. By 1990, the variety was given a name HMT.[3]

Despite his innovation, Khobragade live a poor and mostly neglected life. He got some media attention when Forbes magazine named him among seven most powerful entrepreneurs of India in 2010.[4]

He first shot to fame when he accused the state-run Punjabrao Krishi Vidyapeeth (PKV) for taking credit for the brand that he had originally bred on his farm and given to the university scientists. This was in early 2000s.

While Dadaji claimed the PKV had appropriated his variety, the PKV held that sourced it from him and significantly improved the variety with their scientific inputs. The issue remains unresolved till date. PKV never officially gave Dadaji his credit in its varietal release proposal.

The National Innovation Foundation (NIF) recognised his work in 2003-04 and the Maharashtra government gave him the Krishi Bhushan and Krishi Ratna awards for his innovations. One of his varieties called Chinnour is akin to the Basmati of the north. He named his latest variety after himself: DRK.

Notes and References[edit]

  1. ^ "धान संशोधक दादाजी खोब्रागडे यांचं निधन" (in Marathi). Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  2. ^ "HMT - Paddy variety". National Innovation Foundation - India. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  3. ^ An anecdote mentions that a trader whom Khobragade sold his produce named it HMT after the HMT watches that were popular at that time and the trader had recently bought one.
  4. ^ Gupta, Anil (2010-04-11). "Anil Gupta Picks India's Seven Most Powerful Entrepreneurs". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
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