India's premier defence agency has joined hands with yoga guru Baba Ramdev to promote and sell some of the agency's technology, used to develop a range of health food and drinks.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation has entered into a licensing agreement with Ramdev's company for the transfer of Seabuckthorn technology-based products developed by agency's, Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR). More than a decade ago, the DRDO had collaborated with Ladakh Foods to make Leh Berry, a popular brand of juice, that also employed seabuckthorn.
Extolling the DRDO product, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the Seabuckthorn is a unique product. "Apart from what has been commercialised, there are many more applications which Patanjali Ayurveda could explore to exploit the full potential of Seabuckthorn," he told Hindustan Times.
Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L) is a multipurpose nitrogen fixing deciduous plant of cold regions in Indian Himalayas, China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe, according to authors Virendra Singh, Thomas SC Li, Lu Rongsen and Y Zubarev. According to their book, 'Seabuckthorn — Modern Cultivation Technologies', the fruit and leaves of the plant are very rich in variety of vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids and sterols etc, which have potential in health food, cosmetic and drug industries.
The technology has been transferred under the DRDO FICCI ATAC (Accelerated Technology Assessment and Commercialisation) programme that has been established to identify the spin-off technologies for commercial markets within India and abroad, with a special focus on social benefits, an official statement said.
DRDO Chief S Cristopher added, "The benefits of the research done by DIHAR will help the local population to derive the economic benefits as well."
DIHAR, a frontier laboratory of DRDO which is located in Leh with detachments in the strategic Siachen sector has pioneered cold arid-agro animal technologies for augmenting local availability of fresh food in the region. The laboratory, through its translational laboratory to land approach, develops technologies for fresh food cultivation, poultry, goat and dairy farming and green house cultivation which are disseminated to the local farmers, reported PTI.