Adivasi tribes in the Araku Valley—among the most disadvantaged groups in India—are heavily dependent on forests for sustenance. The Livelihoods Carbon Funds has teamed up with local NGO partner Naandi to help the community plants 6 million fruit trees (including 3 million coffee plants) over nearly 15,000 acres. The project will offset more than 1 million tons of carbon emissions in the next 20 years and positively impact the lives of 100,000 people.
Why it matters
In India, Adivasi tribes are considered to be the first inhabitants of the country. These communities are often marginalized. The Araku Valley, for example, is characterized by low literacy rates among women, high infant and maternal mortality rates and low agricultural productivity. Significant deforestation in the area, prior to independence, led to soil erosion and degradation, as well as poverty, given that these forests had allowed the communities to survive.
How it works
Drawing on its 10-year experience in this region, Naandi came up with the 'Araku Way', an initiative that takes a holistic and family-centered approach to development, linking farming to education and forging bonds within the community. Naandi helps local farmers produce and market their coffee. Backing from Livelihoods Carbon Funds has enabled Naandi to scale up the project and build in an agroforestry component.
How it creates value
Naandi’s project has made it possible for local Adivasi tribes to diversify their crop portfolio (initially restricted to coffee, vegetables and black pepper) with 18 fruit tree varieties per acre. Mangroves are bearing their first fruit and soon tribal members will be able to produce an annual 12,000 tons of mangoes for the local market. Moreover, Araku coffee has become a premium brand sold by the farmers themselves through 'Small and Marginal Tribal Farmers’ Cooperatives'. And Araku coffee is now available in Europe, with a first shop in Paris—an incredible achievement for communities which were isolated not so many years ago.