Varanashi Development and Research Foundation (VDRF), formerly Varanashi Research Foundation (VRF), has been renamed in 2016 to widen the scope of activities. A nonprofit Charitable Trust, VDRF has set clear, short-term and long-term goals targeting the improvement of agriculture and allied fields through research, education and outreach with special emphasis on the promotion of eco-friendly and sustainable technologies.
Board of Trustees
The foundation is governed by a small but dedicated Board of Trustees with Dr. Varanashi Krishna Moorthy as the Managing Trustee. Shri V.V. Bhat (IAS Retd.), Dr. Ashwini Krishna Moorthy, Dr. P. K. Shankaranarayana Bhat and Shri C. Sriranga Shastry are the Trustees of the Foundation.
In addition to Dr. Varanashi Krishna Moorthy and Dr. Ashwini Krishna Moorthy, several people are working in various capacities.
Research Advisory Committee
A Research Advisory Committee comprised of the following experts provide guidance when required:
Mr. K.S.Subaiah, M.Sc.(Ag.)
- Former Vice President (R&D),
- Pest Control India Ltd.,
- Arapattu, Kodagu District.
- Dept. of Agri. Microbiology,
- UAS, Bangalore.
- Retd. Head,
- Division of Crop Improvement
- CPCRI, Kasaragod, Kerala.
Mr. Anand Kumar, M.Tech
- Master Plannery,
- Puttur, D.K.
The Foundation disposes of a farm of about 40 hectares owned by the Varanashi family to undertake field experiments. There are many crops like cashew, areca, coconut, nutmeg, cocoa, pepper and rice as well as several forest plants in the farm. The farm is 100% organic. The spacious building houses a microbiology and chemistry laboratory unit. The production facility of the sister unit Varanashi Organic Manures (VOM) is also utilized as and when required.
Major research achievements
- Improvement in the cultivation methodology of the Oyster Mushroom.
- Modification and standardization of large-scale production of Beauveria bassiana and Trichoderma sp.
- Development of an eco-friendly and efficient technology to recycle organic wastes like coir pith, rice mill wastes, cocoa husk, coffee fruit skin, coffee husk, etc. by composting.
- Formulation and development of VRF method of composting which
- Gives higher recovery of nutrients per unit mass of compost produced
- Is amenable for multiplication of beneficial organism such as Trichoderma, Azotobacter, P-solublising bacteria, etc.
- Is efficient and cost effective.
- Study on Indian Pill Millipedes
- Human waste (night soil) recycling through proper distribution system
- Low cost seasonal barrage construction using sand and plastic sheets
- Organic Cashew Nut cultivation standardization
- Dr. Varanashi Krishnamoorthy and Dr. Ashwini Krishnamoorthy presented a paper during IFOAM 2002 – World Organic Congress. During the tour they gave talks, visited organic farms and interacted with scientists and farmers.
- Dr. Varanashi and Dr. Ashwini. K. Moorthy participated and presented papers at IFOAM organic world congress held in September 2005 at Adelaide, Australia.
- In 2006 and 2007 regular visits were made to Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia to advise on organic cashew and Vanilla projects. The Varanashi couple have also visited Nepal and Israel.
- In 2008, Dr. Varanashi visited Italy to participate and present the paper at the IFOAM Organic World Congress 2008.
Recognition / Awards Received
- Recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation by Department of Science and Industrial Research since 1998
- Varanashi Farms, the site of experiments for VDRF, is certified as 100% Organic by Aditi (organic certifying agency) since 1997
- Dr. Moorthy is a recipient of the GSE Award from Rotary International in the year 1984
- Karnataka State Government has honoured Dr. Varanashi Krishna Moorthy with ‘Krishi Panditha’, a title for all-round achievements in agriculture for 2001/02
- Dr. Ashwini Krishna Moorthy received “Best Woman Entrepreneur” award from Department of Industries, Kerala State Government in 2004
- The VDRF received the prestigious “APJ Abdul Kalam Environmental Award” for 2006/07
- Dr. Moorthy received “Distinguished Alumni” Award from Alumni Association University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru for 2006/07
- Dr. Ashwini Krishna Moorthy received “Outstanding Old Student” award from the “Old Students Association”, Vivekananda College Puttur in 2007
The Varanashis have presented papers at both national and international meets. A few of them are available for downloading.
- Organic Cashew Project in Cambodia
- A Successful Organic Farmer With One Dairy Cow IFOAM 2005
- Rice Cultivation for Food Security at Varanashi Farms, Adyanadka IFOAM Asia
- Water Harvesting –The Varanashi Story IFOAM 2005
- Varanashi Farms – towards Organic and Sustainable Agriculture IFOAM 2002
- Sudha (Kannada)
- VRF Cashew and other Publications details
- Partha Varanashi MS Thesis