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Blog at Jains - An evening to commemorate the founder of drip irrigation in India

A memorial tribute to Mr B.H Jain was held at "Peres Center For Peace", Israel at the presence of Jain Family - Anil Jain, MD Jain, Atul Jain ,Indian Ambassador to Israel Mr. Pavan Kapoor, former Israeli ambassadors to India, Ambassadors, representatives from Israeli Ministries of Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Economy & Industry, leading persons from the Israeli industry and institutes

Mr. B.H. Jain, the founder and head of the Jain international agricultural and irrigation corporation was a visionary, a man of action and work; an entrepreneur, lawyer, researcher, philosopher and educator and Philanthropist. He was responsible for the second green revolution in India and the introduction of advanced agricultural technologies and irrigation methods such as micro and drip irrigation into India in the world for small farmers.

Mr. Jain was born into a family of farmers. In 1963 he established a family business involved mainly in supplying inputs for farmers.

In 1986, the Jain Company visited the Agritech Exhibition in Israel (an international agricultural technology exhibition), where Mr. Jain first came into contact with Israeli agricultural developments and technologies, including micro and drip irrigation. From that time on, his dream and vision was to establish a company promoting those advanced technologies for the benefit of the millions of farmers, primarily small farmers around the world and specifically in India.

In 1988, Mr. Jain founded an irrigation company, which was initially based on European expertise. In 1992, with the renewal of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, connections were made between the Jain Company and Israeli companies and institutions. Today, the Jain Company is one of the world􀂷s leaders in the fields of irrigation, water, food and sustainable agriculture, with an annual turnover of more than one and a half billion dollars.

Progress and Benefits for Millions of Farmers

Mr. Jain believed that every farmer is an entrepreneur; that he can make an honorable living and can make the most of his farming area. To achieve that aim, he established a unique business model designed to provide the needs of millions of small farmers in India. According to that model, the Company uses its plants to manufacture and supply the farmer with all the necessary farming inputs - Seeds and plants, drip and sprinkler irrigation systems, fertilizers, nurseries, greenhouses, agronomic information and advice. In other words, Mr. Jain established a "one stop agro shop" As part of that model, the Company purchases the produce from the farmer, sending part for export and part for processing in the factories established by the Company, including one of the world’s largest onion drying plants and a plant producing fruit juices and concentrates. Organic wastes at the Company’s plants are used to generate alternative, bio-gas energy.

With the aim of introducing drip technology into the Indian agricultural market, Mr. Jain established laboratories and an advanced biological and agricultural research institute, which supports and helps the farmers. Mr. Jain also established a plant manufacturing solar power water pumps, which enable the farmers to irrigate without dependence upon an electricity network, which is often not available in many of India’s rural areas.

Mr. Jain also founded a 2,000 hectare model farm, which is also used as a training farm and to demonstrate advanced irrigation methods. More than 100,000 people visit the farm each year. Thanks to Mr. Jain’s activities, the Indian central government was persuaded that the transition to drip irrigation was both worthwhile and economically feasible. Once that had happened, the central government and the heads of individual Indian states began offering support for farmers making the transition from traditional, wasteful, flood irrigation methods to drip irrigation. Drip provided water and fertilizer savings, while at the same time, it increased yields and income.

That is how Mr. Jain generated the second green revolution in India. Millions of small farmers using traditional methods to farm small areas in a country where water does not cost anything are now using drip irrigation. That revolution has brought advance and benefits to millions of Indian farmers. In its list of companies that have created change in the world, the prestigious Fortune magazine ranks the Jain Company highly for its contribution to progress and change for millions of Indian farmers.

Today the story of Jain Irrigation are learning as "Case Studies" at universities such Harvard.

Mr. Jain belonged to the Jain faith, which believes in nonviolence. The moral principles that form the underpinnings of the Jain faith, primarily that of non-violence had a decisive influence on the doctrine favored by Mahatma Gandhi. In his home town, Mr. Jain founded the Gandhi Museum and Center for Peace - one of the most sophisticated in the world. As an educator, he established the School of Young Leadership in India. Mr. Jain was the author of many books, including works on the ills in the structure of Indian society, on business entrepreneurship and the management of water systems. For his wide ranging work he was awarded India’s second most important medal of excellence by the Indian government. He chose to live in harmony with the environment and planted millions of trees in an effort to transform arid land into cultivated soil producing life and food.

Special Links with Israel

Mr. Jain valued Israeli agricultural achievements and both appreciated and had affection for Israeli farmers. Over the past 25 years, there has been much cooperation and investments between Jain and many Israeli companies. The headline event during that time was the establishment of a joint irrigation company with Kibbutz Naan - the NaanDanJain Irrigation Company, a world leader in irrigation technology. That event has also led to social and cultural cooperation with the Kibbutz and the Israeli people. Thanks to that commercial cooperation, the NaanDanJain Company now offers the world’s widest range of irrigation products, which enables the Company to supply farmers with the best custom solutions for their individual needs. That certainly fits the spirit of the motto that guided Mr. Jain during his life - "Leave this world a little better than you found it".