Shifting perspectives on agricultural prosperity by rekindling the passion and commitment of the younger generation of farmers (Photo by Nevin John)
AGRICULTURE AS A CULTURE
The first seed of our journey with smallholding farmers sprouted to life in the Araku region of Andhra Pradesh in the early 2000s.
Working closely with Araku’s tribal communities and subsistence farmers has taught us that agriculture is indeed a culture – a way of life and a set of values for nurturing health and abundance above and below soils.
Inspired by their nature-oriented, community-serving values of sharing and caring, we have synergised a new model of regenerative agriculture which prioritises the symbiotic health of soils, ecosystems, and people.
The spirit of this model is to share knowledge democratically and to produce and disseminate agri-inputs that improve soil health and enhance diversity and nutrition of crops and trees. This model is currently spreading health and regeneration across tribal, rural, and urban India, transforming vulnerability into resilience.
By leaving sustainable ‘foodprints’ on agrarian communities, improving smallholding farmer livelihoods, and securing access to high-quality, nutritious foods, we hope to transform India’s food system into one that is sustainable and just for all.
Ensuring that smallholding farmer families have access to knowledge and inputs for enriching their soils as the bedrock of their health and livelihoods (Photo by Clare Louise Thomas)
BUILDING TRUST AND INSPIRING EXCELLENCE
Time and time again, agrarian communities have trusted us and leveraged our partnership as stepping stones towards prosperity.
We have watched as they became masters of their own fate, working day by day with newly acquired knowledge and agri-inputs to become regenerative experts and agricultural entrepreneurs.
Their collective stories of transformation and of striving for excellence never cease to inspire us: the perseverance of Araku’s tribal farmers in applying 19 steps to cultivate India’s best speciality coffee scoring 91+/100 from international judges;
the devotion of Wardha’s rural families as they transitioned from chemical to regenerative methods for farming pomegranate orchards; and the courage of our women farmers in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh who bring regenerative farming to their homesteads to feed their families and become financially independent.
These transformations are occurring at scale in tribal regions, rural landscapes, and urban metropolises.
Photo by Nevin John
The knowledge component of our agricultural model is SALM – sustainable agriculture land management – which we openly share with our smallholding farmer partners through our Regen Hub training courses and support systems.
This knowledge is a convergence of biological principles and soil sciences, and sharing it democratically enables farmers to return to ancient, chemical-free methods of conserving soils and enhancing biodiversity.
SALM includes mulching, green manuring, companion cropping, and most importantly, multi cropping a diverse range of chemical-free, nutritious foods.
By consulting experts on value addition, global markets, and retail branding, we acquire and share knowledge that enables farmers to create lucrative, branded products from their high quality produce.
Photo by Ankana Sen
The agri-input component of our agricultural model is SEED – soil enhancers and ecosystem developers. SEED is a package of compost, soil inoculants, and foliar sprays produced from recycled biomass, herbal preparations, and cow manure. These inputs are designed to enrich soils with biological wealth – beneficial microbes, organic carbon, water reserves, and essential nutrients.
With access to our inputs, our smallholding farmer partners can build these elements of wealth in their soils which translates into crop health and farmland resilience.
Composting at scale transforms tonnes of biomass waste into organic wealth for soils (Photo by Ankana Sen)
ARAKU COFFEE – A TRANSFORMATION STORY
The epitome of our agricultural model lies in Araku – a mountainous region of the Eastern Ghats inhabited by tribal farmers.
For over 20 years, 100,000 smallholding farmers have joined us on a journey guided by trust, transparency, and a commitment to excellence. With support from our agricultural experts and our specialty coffee jury from all over the world, this collective of farmers seized the opportunity to transition to regenerative agriculture practices for cultivating arabica coffee.
Through their tireless and collaborative efforts to enrich soils and nurture coffee saplings and the vital shade forests they grow within, they created the ideal conditions for their coffee bushes and for growing ruby red coffee cherries of a superior quality and taste. Under the careful watch and quality control of their farmers cooperative society, one of the largest in the world overseeing production and processing of single-origin organic coffee, these cherries are collected on time, processed at local value addition units, and sold at premium prices for roasting.
Showcasing our millionaire farmers, who proudly hold their crimson red Araku Coffee cherries. (Photo by Ankana Sen)
Our annual harvest ceremony, the Gems of Araku, is one of the biggest organic coffee farmers festivals in the world, and the microlots and farmers growing Araku Coffee have risen as beacons of excellence.
Bringing together coffee experts from around the world to sample Araku Coffee microlot harvests each year (Photo by Adithya Narayan)