Inventor of HMT, top paddy varieties Dadaji Khobragade seeks aid for treatment

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 May 2018 09:38:58


Our Correspondents,

It is a matter of shame that one who was honoured with prestigious awards for his outstanding contribution in agricultural research by government and non-government organisation is living in pathetic condition. A renowned paddy researcher and inventor of HMT brand of rice, Dadaji Khobragade from Nanded village in Nagbhid tehsil, is fighting for his life. Suffering from paralysis, he is bedridden since last few months. Living in dismal economic condition, his kin are looking forward for helping hand from the Government for his treatment.

Dadaji Khobragade is renowned farmer known for his invention of HMT brand of paddy. Dadaji (70), who studied up to third standard, was a marginal farmer having only 1.5 acres of land, when in year 1983 he began breeding new verity of rice and in span of a few years developed a verity that gave much higher yield compared to that of conventional one. By year 1989, higher yield with newly developed HMT verity of rice gained high acclamation and its demand skyrocketed in no time. He was even named in the Forbes’ list of seven most powerful rural Indian entrepreneurs, whose ‘inventions are changing lives’ of the people across the country. He also invented as many as 8 varieties of paddy, including Nanded-92, Vijay Nanded, Nanded Chinnoor, Nanded Heera, Deepak Ratna, DRK (Dadaji Ramaji Khobragde), DRK-2 and Kate HMT. Over 106 awards were conferred upon him in recogniation of his work.

Earlier in year 2010, when section of media had reported Dajai Khobragade’s poor economic condition, Government had stepped in to extend a helping hand to the aggrieved
paddy researcher.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar himself visited Dadaji Khobragde at his home in village Nanded to meet him. Nationalist Congress Party had given him cash monetary aid of Rs 1 lakh and party had later gifted him five areas of land to continue his research. Dadaji has received total of 12 different awards for his research. It includes Rashtrapati Award, State Government’s Krushi Bhushan award and the award given by National Innovative Foundation for his contribution in the field of agriculture. Various State Governments, including Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Hariyana have feted Dadaji for his achievements. His HMT variety of paddy is cultivated in more than one lakh hectares of land in five states.

Taking cognisance of his great achievement, State Board of textbook production and curriculum research has included Dadaji Khobragade’s chapter in Marathi text book of standard VI. The chapter have details of efforts taken by Dadaji for invention of HMT variety of rice. He had been feted at the hands of former CM and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and former President of India late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. His son, daughter-in-law and three grand children earn livelihood by working as farm labourers. Dadaji Khobragade suffered from paralysis attack three years back. Since then he is bed-ridden. His kin are unable to providing him better treatment due to poor economic condition.

Government and administration that had feted and backed him during his good days, have however seems to be forgotten him in his final days of his life. Some sympathasisers have although started ‘Help Dadaji Khobragade’ campaign on social media seeking help for bed-ridden researcher who have invented nine varieties of paddy.