Indian agri biz can match IT sector potential, says Manoj Kumar, Co-founder of Araku Coffee
HYDERABAD, Oct 5 (The CONNECT) - India has a huge potential in the food and agriculture sectors similar to what the IT sector provided, said Manoj Kumar, Co-founder of Araku Coffee.
He was in conversation with Suresh Raju, partner, Jupiter Alternative Investment Fund on "Showcase: "Araku Coffee from Tribal India to Paris" at one of the sessions at the TiE Sustanability Summit on Monday night.
Araku Coffee has a store in Paris in Paris’ Le Marais district and another was recently opened in India in Bangalore. The globally recognised coffee brand known for its farmer-friendly and sustainable practices thus had a lot of interest from the participants.
Araku, a remote valley in Andhra Pradesh, achieved global recognition, with its award-winning coffee. Coffee is now available in many countries. It also has a store in Bangalore.
It is a 22-year-old journey. Today the tribals are lakhpatis. Their average earnings are 3 to 4 times more of the national average, he said. And added that the tribals in the eastern ghats found their niche.
Kumar explained that he saw a 2,000sqkm valley with iron-rich soil producing some of the finest crimson coffee cherries, handpicked by Adivasi farmers. It was an 8 year-long project. “We formed them into groups and subsequently into the cooperative which is now the world's largest organic coffee cooperative.”
“We restored close to lakh hectares of forest through this venture. We are now replicating this model in Himachal Pradesh to grow fruits, in UP, Vidarbha and helping Kerala and Orissa and fight climate change,” he said.