From degraded lands to a biodiverse terroir for premium coffee & food forests: the journey of 40,000 Araku farmers in India
After having planted 10 million trees, Araku farmer families now aim at transitioning their agriculture wholly to sustainable farming practices. Araku is home to Adivasi tribes, considered as the first inhabitants of India.
Araku farmers who engaged in the restoration of the Valley of Araku Photo Credit: Hellio-Vaningen
Adivasis have been forest-dwellers since the dawn of time. Yet, over the years, exploitation of natural resources had degraded the lands and starkly pauperized the tribes. The region was facing the highest maternal mortality rate, illiteracy and no schools. 10 years ago, with the support of Naandi Foundation, the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, an impact investment fund backed by private companies, and India’s Mahindra Group, Araku farmers started restoring their most precious wealth: their forest. With hard work, courage and determination, they have already planted more than 10 million forest, fruit and coffee trees that have given a new lease of life to their region.
Araku Farmer back from tree planting in Cheruvupakala Village Photo Credit: Hellio-Vaningen
They now produce “Araku Coffee”, a shade grown organically certified specialty coffee that just won a prestigious award in Paris and is sold in many countries around the world. Now, 40,000 farmers ar