An Encouraging financial assistance by NABARD for rural innovators

By Badhri Jagannathan|29th Jul 2010
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If you have an innovative idea that would change the life of your rural neighbourhood for the better, you have help from National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD). ThinkChange India has learnt from India Microfinance Directory that NABARD has come up with a Rural Innovation Fund (RIF) in order to support innovative and environmentally friendly ideas that help the livelihood and employment of rural citizens of India.

NABARD’s website outlines the details of RIF in the form of Frequently Asked Questions.

2. What are the guiding principles for operations of RIF?
The guiding principles for the operations of RIF are broadly as indicated below:
  • The activities must have the rural poor in their focus and must be innovative, experimental and demonstrative in nature leading to replicability and commercial viability.
  • The activities funded may involve development of new products, processes, prototypes, technology, patenting and extension support.
  • Appropriate action research and studies contributing to better understanding of rural development issues, policy and process implementation may be undertaken.
9. What type of financial support is available under RIF?
Support available under RIF can be in the form of loan / grant/ incubation fund support, or a mix of all the three components. The support would be need based, cost effective and dependent on the requirement of the project, also taking into account some financial involvement by the proposer. This will be decided on a case-to-case basis.

Details of previous beneficiaries can be found here in the form of PDF document. A few of the initiatives that received the funds are quite interesting.

Technology & Action for Rural Advancement (TARA) is implementing a project, which utilizes fly ash, to produce bricks used by the construction industry. A community‐centric SHG‐based business model has been envisaged…in Chandrapur, Nagpur and Beed districts of Maharashtra with RIF assistance of Rs. 43.74 lakh.

Rs. 10.24 lakh to DHRIITI. The project envisages use of Arecanut leaves (sheaths), otherwise wasted, for manufacture of arecanut leaf plates and bowls which are eco‐friendly, biodegradable,microwave friendly and can even hold liquids for a few hours.

ICAR Research Centre, Ummiam, Meghalaya: Rs. 10 lakh. (for) the idea of setting up low cost rain water harvesting structures or “Jalkunds” using locally available material like grass, bamboo, etc. 40 such structures are planned in the 4 NE States of Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Manipur

Nishant Bio Energy Consultancy of Mohali, Chandigarh, has devised the Sanjha Chulha, which uses an innovative combustion technology – by providing air where the fuel is, to facilitate faster and cleaner combustion…. RIF supports this innovation in a very ‘innovative’ way – apart from grant assistance, a venture‐like support is also envisaged, aggregating Rs. 23.83 lakh.

Rs. 6.705 lakh for Ramanand Saraswathi Pustakalaya for setting up a bio‐mass gasifier for production of electricity from Sarpat Grass (Sarakanda) wastes to be used for domestic lighting, street lighting, pumping drinking water, etc, in Jokehara, Azamgarh, UP

The application form for this fund is available here.

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