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How Araku Coffee from Andhra Pradesh has Boosted Tribal Families’ Income

Did you know that Araku Coffee from Andhra Pradesh comes from India's first tribal growers? Let’s know more about how tribal farmers became coffee-estate owners.

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Srushti Pathak
New Update
Araku Coffee

Andhra Pradesh’s Araku Coffee earned its Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2019. This unique blend of coffee with its fruity taste with hints of chocolate was recently discussed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Talking about Araku coffee in the recent episode of Mann Ki Baat, he applauded the efforts of Girijan Cooperative on helping tribal farmers boost their income significantly.

Araku Coffee

Praise from the PM

During a recent episode of Mann Ki Baat, PM Modi said, “There are so many products from India that are in great demand across the world and when we see a local product from India going global, it is natural to feel proud. One such product is Araku coffee. Araku coffee is grown in large quantities in the Alluri Sita Rama Raju district of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its rich flavour and aroma. About 1.5 lakh tribal families are associated with cultivating Araku coffee. Girijan cooperative has played a vital role in taking Araku coffee to new heights. It brought together the farmer brothers and sisters here and encouraged them to cultivate Araku coffee. This has also increased the income of these farmers a lot.”

Girijan Cooperative

Established in 1956 under the Cooperative Societies Act, Girijan Cooperative has been committed to uplifting the lives of tribals living in the undivided Andhra Pradesh. Their primary objective is to empower and uplift tribal families. As part of their Coffee Project, the cooperative supports 20,000 tribal families through a market intervention program. This initiative not only helps them gain access to the coffee industry but also equips them with the necessary tools and resources to thrive in the market.

Araku Coffee

The Journey of Araku Coffee

The history of Indian Araku coffee is linked to the local communities of the Eastern Ghats, the Araku highlands, in Andhra Pradesh. It dates back to 1999. Araku Valley coffee is cultivated in the hilly terrains of the Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh at elevations of 900-1100 metres above sea level. This coffee is produced by tribal communities using organic methods, focusing on organic manures, green manuring, and organic pest management.

In 2019, Araku coffee earned its Geographical Indication (GI) tag, signifying its unique qualities tied to its specific geographical origin. 

What makes Araku Coffee Special?

Araku coffee is grown in the Araku Valley, a picturesque region in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. This area is known for its lush green landscapes and ideal conditions for coffee cultivation, including rich soil, suitable climate, and high altitude.

  • Organic Farming: Organic farming methods are used to cultivate Araku coffee. Local tribal farmers grow coffee beans without synthetic fertilisers or pesticides. This ensures a natural and sustainable product.

  • Unique Flavour Profile: The coffee from Araku Valley is renowned for its smooth, well-balanced flavour with hints of fruit and chocolate. The unique soil of the region contributes to its distinct taste, making it much sought after.

  • Social Impact: The cultivation of Araku coffee has positively impacted the local tribal communities. Coffee cultivation involves over 100,000 farmers. And this has been providing them with fair wages and improving their quality of life. It has empowered the indigenous population, promoting social and economic development in the region.

  • Global Recognition: Araku Coffee has gained international acclaim for its quality. It is a recipient of numerous awards and is exported to several countries like France, the United States, and Japan. The global recognition has further elevated its status as a premium coffee.

  • Sustainability: The entire process of cultivating, processing, and marketing Araku coffee is centered around sustainability. The tribal farmers employ eco-friendly methods, such as using natural compost and rainwater harvesting, to minimise the environmental impact.

Mann Ki Baat Girijan Cooperative Prime Minister Narendra Modi Araku Coffee coffee