Food Vision 2050 prize for Naandi Foundation's Arakunomics

A farmer in the coffee estates of Naandi Foundation in Araku
Special CorrespondentAugust 07, 2020 22:26 IST
Updated: August 08, 2020 08:27 IST

Naandi’s vision titled Arakunomics, a new integrated economic model that ensures profits for farmers and quality for consumers through regenerative agriculture, was based on work with tribal farmers in Araku for nearly 20 years.

Rockefeller Foundation has selected Naandi Foundation, Hyderabad-based non-profit, as one of the ‘Top 10 Visionaries’ in the world for the Food Vision 2050 Prize, announced in New York on August 6. The recognition fetches Naandi a prize money of $200,000.

The award recognised the application of Arakunomics model in regions of Araku, Wardha and New Delhi, leading to the Food Vision 2050 that follows an “ABCDEFGH” framework centring on: Agriculture, Biology, Compost, Decentralised decision-making, Entrepreneurs, Families, Global Markets, and ‘Headstands’, or turning current approaches on their head.

Naandi competed with over 1,300 entries in a two-level contest that was spread over almost a year. Rockefeller Foundation will be releasing immediately $150,000 and the balance $50,000 after a three-month accelerator programme that is intended to help Naandi realise its vision. Naandi’s vision titled “Arakunomics” was based on work with tribal farmers in Araku for nearly 20 years. It is a new integrated economic model that ensures profits for farmers, quality for consumers through regenerative agriculture. The economic model is a tribute to the tribal farmers of Araku region for the world class coffee produced and launched in Paris in 2017, as well as for the high carbon landscape transformation they did in over 955 villages, thereby planting 25 million trees.


Arakunomics success in Araku led to Naandi replicating the model to support the livelihoods of farming communities in the villages of Wardha – infamous for agrarian distress, as well as later in New Delhi, as part of an Urban Farms Co programme. It hopes to expand its “food-print” by creating thousands of farm livelihoods by transforming their agriculture over one million acres spread across India, said a press release on Friday.

Rockefeller in their citation says “ your vision we see a beacon of light we think can illuminate the world. Your Vision inspired. If implemented, it can transform. It feels lofty yet feasible - audacious yet vital. It can reveal a path forward to a nourishing, resilient, sustainable and equitable food system for 2050, if not well before. We think the global community can be activated to learn from and take ideas from your vision.”

Anand Mahindra (chairman, Mahindra Group) is the chair of the board of Naandi Foundation which comprises of Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-founder, Infosys Ltd.), Rajendra Prasad Maganti (chairman, Soma Enterprise Ltd.), and Satish Reddy (chairman, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.) as other members.

Apart from trustees, bulk of Naandi’s investments have come from the CSR funds of the Mahindra Group of companies and long term grants from Paris-based Livelihoods Fund.

Established in 1998, it works in 19 States in India and has impacted seven million lives so far, the release added.