39-year-old Sobha Bheem Naidu and wife Puspalamma from Gedelapaadu village (Hukumpeta), Andhra Pradesh have a special connection with coffee. It is a legacy passed on by his late parents and a testimony of a life lived with sincere passion.
“My parents cultivated coffee on one-acre farm. Growing up, with studies, I spent ample time helping them, deeply admiring their sincerity for work” says Naidu. The family has been growing coffee through generations and when he completed his Bachelors in Education in 2008, he turned to agriculture at once to continue the family tradition.
In 2021, Naidu lost his parents within a span of 5 months. “It was a tough time for us emotionally, but we also had to think of ways to get additional income for our family”, says Puspalamma. With fewer hands on deck for farm care and 4 young boys to raise, the family was actively seeking sustainable avenues to make long-term profits.
Encouraged by the Naandi Foundation initiative supported by NVIDIA, they doubled the size of their coffee plot to 2 acres, and joined the Farmer Field Schools and started learning effective farm management practices. Regular training has helped them understand the farm deeply and discover means to increase yield quantity. “I learnt that coffee thrives in a biodiverse farm. So I planted additional fruit and forest trees to enrich the soil”, says Naidu.
The dynamic duo has added new coffee saplings to increase plant density. What further fortifies farm health and resilience is the addition of organic bioinoculants that are now easily accessible through this initiative. With a deep respect for the family tradition and a keen desire to preserve authenticity in agriculture, the farmer family is actively embracing regenerative agriculture practices to enhance crop quality.
Like them, the initiative is enabling 3016 small and marginal tribal farmers across 115 villages to learn effective farm management practices to improve farm health, quality of farm produce and farmer livelihoods.