Yoga teacher Ramdev's company will soon market herbal supplements and food products developed by India's defence research organisation DRDO.
The DRDO or Defence Research and Development Organisation yesterday finalized agreements with the yoga teacher's "Patanjali Yogpeeth", for the transfer of technology involving products made from Seabuckthorn at its high altitude research lab in Leh.
With this venture, the DRDO, which has products ranging from juices and mosquito repellents to strategic missiles, hopes to make a mark in the "civilian" market. The organization clarified that its contract with Patanjali is "non-exclusive" and it has transferred technologies to other companies in the past.
The DRDO laboratory, which has units in Siachen, the world's highest battlefield, has developed technology to improve the availability of fresh food in the mountains and for poultry, goat and dairy farming and green house cultivation; the know-how is shared with local farmers.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said: "Apart from what has been commercialised, there are many more applications which Patanjali Ayurveda could explore to exploit the full potential of Seabuckthorn."
Mr Parrikar said the defence research organisation is increasingly trying to commercialise its technologies for use beyond the armed forces.
Earlier attempts have not always been successful. Sources say the DRDO did not make much headway in is attempts to popularize "Leh Berry juice." But it hopes to change that by tying up with Ramdev.
As part of the agreement, Ramdev's company will receive know-how from DRDO on making herbal tea, seabuckthorn dietary supplement capsules, seabuckthorn juice and seabuckthorn and apricot beverage - which is found to be beneficial for the heart.
The yoga teacher's company also makes herbal and food products with a reported turnover of Rs 2,000 crore annually.