Tag Archives: Danone

World Congress on Agroforestry 2014 – New Delhi

24 Mar

The good folks at ICRAF invited Naandi Foundation to the World Agroforestry Congress held in Delhi between the 10th to 15th February 2014. The event opened on a chilly Monday morning with an inaugural address introduction from the Indian president Pranab Mukherjee. The President then felicitated adults and kids from across India with awards for their work on biodiversity. The engaging luncheon presented us with a buffet of ideas and cuisine. People from across the world introduced their work as everybody broke “naan” together. With everyone having introduced themselves the gathering split up into six workshops.

Murkerjee AFC

The second day saw the president of the Livelihoods Venture, Bernard Giraud, gave an introductory address in the morning and speak about improving nutrition through Agroforestry. He spoke about the livelihoods network camp hosted by Naandi in October 2011 at Araku. He also spoke of the Hariyali (Greenery) Project through which Danone and Mahindra ambitiously hopes to plant 6 million fruit and coffee saplings by 2016. We met with him briefly to discuss the best way forward for the Pollinator Programme. It was a pleasure to meet back some old friend like Behinda from Indonesia who was also present in Araku livelihoods network last year.

The event was divided into six workshops – all of them dealing with key livelihoods and social enterprise. Our workshop focused more on biodiversity. Time became a constraint as everybody was keen to share their work, there was nothing in it as everybody’s presentations and areas of work were fascinating. Coffee 2


We really appreciate the platform the Congress provided to learn about projects across the world. While our tireless pursuit for sustainability carries on, it feel truly special to mingle with like-minded people and get recognition for our efforts. We look forward to participating in events of this nature (pun intended).

The goal of the conference was to show that the best way to develop in a sustainable way an area by linking research, practical aspect and government goal and how to link the farmers directly to the consumers without passing by the middle man. By doing this, it allow us to get better quality product as well as a better value for money for the consumers.

To conclude, the World Agroforesty Congress was a great opportunity to understand the different needs in the rural livelihoods space. We thank the organizers of the conference and ICRAF for their support.


December 2013: The Bee Garden comes to the Araku Valley

22 Jan

Of late, we’ve observed a great improvement in beekeeping skills of our women beneficiaries. We’ve reached out to over eighty women in Araku Valley and there are encouraging signs for the near future.

copyThe majority of our women beneficiaries have overcome their fear of bees and showing a keen interest in taking up the task. We recently had a visit from Senior Advisor Sustainability and Shared Value Creation at Danone, Bernard Giraud. Danone, in partnership with Naandi Foundation has been working towards livelihoods solutions in the Araku Valley. He was impressed by what he saw and amazed by the lack of fear among our women while handling the bees. The local tribes people in Araku  have an ingrained sense of harmony with nature, as do each and every one of our beneficiaries.Visit

Another bit of exciting news, the Pagoda of the bee garden has been built and is ready to welcome the bees.  The Hariyali (Greenery) Project has helped us ensure that we have the most bee-friendly plants around our ‘Bee Shangri-La.’ Plants. A range of tomatoes, basil, lychees and even strawberries snugly wrap our bee sanctuary in the Central Nursery in Hukumpetta. To guaranty to  establish a bee sanctuary, and thanks to the practice of biodynamic agriculture, we are slowly improving the soil which will lead to healthy bees.

bee garden

beeWe’re welcoming visitors in Araku Valley to come check us out and let us know what you think.