Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, and Japan, among others, keen on a deal on the coffee of the valley

This scenic locale that is a popular tourist destination is on the international map for one more reason - coffee.

The coffee Arabica from Araku is set to sell at Rs. 450-500 per kilo. The premium coffee is grown by the 12,000 small and marginal tribal coffee farmers of the valley and the world’s coffee guzzling nations including Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, and Japan are keen on striking a deal on the produce this year.

Making the world know the existence of Araku Arabica and having it appreciated for its unique taste and flavour is the Araku Originals Limited floated by the Naandi Foundation. AOL is marketing the idea and the coffee by bringing in the discerning international buyers to the Araku Valley to see the cultivation and interact with the farmers.

On the other hand the international recognition has boosted the morale of the farmers who are taking pride in their produce and are willing to walk that extra mile to ensure quality.

What makes the coffee cultivated by the members of Small and Marginal Tribal Coffee Farmers Mutually Aided Cooperative Society in the Valley so unique is the biodynamic cultivation process that avoids use of chemicals, SAMTCFMACS president Killo Kondal Rao of Thuraiguda says.

Competition

The Naandi Foundation, in association with the Mahindra & Mahindra, organised a competition -- Gems of Araku 2014 -- to recognise and award the best biodynamic farmer and the best biodynamic farming village.

The competition has been designed with an aim to encourage the farmers to adopt the best practices and maintain the quality that is sought after in the international markets, says Chief Sustainability Officer of Naandi Foundation David Hogg.

On Wednesday Rajeev Dubey of the Mahindra & Mahindra along with the CEO of Naandi Foundation in the presence of a number of international coffee buyers gave away the awards to the Best Biodynamic Farmer Janni Budho of Ganjaiguda village, runner-up G. Anantaram of K. Bodapat village; Best Biodynamic Village to K. Bodapat village and runner-up to Ganjaiguda village at a function organised at the Coffee Processing Unit of the SAMTCFMACS at Thuraiguda near here.

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