Over the past few months, COVID-19 has frozen human lives, activities and businesses around the globe. But despite the uncertainty of our times, there are some places in the world where activities for a more sustainable tomorrow are still ongoing. We are happy to share with you this message of hope from Araku Valley, India, where Adivasi farmers planted 2.5 million trees to regenerate their forest and improve their livelihoods.

From June 27th to July 1st 2020, more than 10, 000 Adivasi farmers joined forces to plant 2.5 million trees in 5 days. From the top of the hills to the bassins and rice paddies in the valley, the newly planted trees will help restore the entire landscape, improve food security, and preserve biodiversity to ensure the environmental and economic development of the entire valley.

Home to thousands of Adivasi farmers, Araku valley is an isolated rural area located in the State of Andhra Pradesh, Southern India. The plantation was achieved thanks to a meticulous planning initiated in 2019, in coordination with the Naandi Foundation and with the support of the Livelihoods Carbon Funds and Mahindra. Of course, the planting activities were undertaken under very particular circumstances: the entire valley has been widely preserved by COVID-19 pandemic as it is a rural area which remained completely disconnected from the cities. Visits to the villages where completely forbidden during a strict lockdown and the farmers involved in the project respected all health measures implemented by local authorities thanks to barrier equipment, social distancing and frequent temperature checks.

This strong mobilization sends us a powerful message: Adivasi communities remain highly involved in a project that combines high-scale regenerative agriculture for the benefit of their land and livelihoods. Since 2010, the Livelihoods Carbon Funds have been supporting the Naandi Foundation to help tribal communities regenerate their forest and produce their own high quality Araku Coffee, which is now world famous and has contributed to get them out of poverty.

Photo Credits: Naandi Foundation

The Naandi Foundation awarded by Rockefeller Foundation with the Food System Vision 2050 Prize

Earlier this month, the Naandi Foundation won the Food System Vision – 2050 prize, awarded by the Rockefeller Foundation. The prize recognizes the ambitious and robust model, called “Arakunomics” that has been implemented by the Indian NGO for nearly 20 years. Naandi’s integrated economic model ensures profitable economic opportunities for farmers and high-quality coffee for consumers, thanks to regenerative agriculture.

For the past 10 years, the Livelihoods Carbon Funds and the Naandi Foundation have been working closely together to reach this model at large scale. Congratulations to the whole Naandi team and all Adivasi farmers involved in the project for this prize!