Follow-on investment – Akshayakalpa

January 19, 2024

A bunch of us on the core team at Rainmatter have always been health fanatics. Over the last couple of years, natural curiosity about health and us talking about it on social media led to a lot of startups from the health space reaching out to us. This led us to a realization that we could support startups working on helping Indians make healthier choices that’s how the health focus at Rainmatter began. In this period, the realization we’ve had is much of the stuff that lands on our plates which we consume has been tainted in various ways. Not to sound morose, but from plastics to fruits and vegetables laced with heavy doses of pesticides, we are paying to poison ourselves.

One of the biggest items in Indian diets is dairy. A few years ago, we met Shashi, the founder of Akshayakalpa. Speaking to him was a revelation because he gave us a crash course on all the things that were wrong with the cows and the milk we consume. For example, we learned that cows are always tethered and hence they tend to catch diseases which leads to indiscriminate antibiotic use, which ends up in the milk we consume leading to antibiotic resistance in humans. Antibiotic resistance is one of the gravest health threats we face today. Similarly, Shashi told us that bees are one of the farmer’s best friends because they are excellent crosspollinators, but they are dying due to habitat loss, rampant use of pesticides on so on.

Akshayakalpa is trying to solve some of these thorny challenges. Today, they offer a wide range of products from dairy to fruits and vegetables. The Akshayakalpa team works with farmers and local communities to help them implement organic farming techniques to reduce the use of antibiotics and pesticides and then sources the produce. It’s not just about the quality. Akshayakalpa also improves the livelihoods of farmers who are at the mercy of rains, markets and middlemen. What excites us the most at Rainmatter is to help Indians make healthier choices and our desire aligns perfectly with Akshayakalpa’s mission. We are super excited to join them is journey as they work to give Indians access to healthy foods.

Here’s an introduction by Shashi Kumar, the Founder & CEO of Akshayakalpa.

 


Akshayakalpa works closely with young farmers who have discontinued farming operations due to economic non-viability and are groomed as entrepreneurs by providing bank linkages, extension outreach, technical services, and market access.

We believe in a symbiotic relationship between human beings and natural resources. Therefore, by design, we follow organic production processes that integrate better soil management and build farm biodiversity. Furthermore, we use technology interventions to objectively evaluate and improve closed-loop farming ecosystems.

On average, Akshayakalpa pays its farmers Rs. 100,000, per month for organic milk, organic poultry, organic banana, honey, tender coconut and millets produced in his/her farm. Farms are heavily integrated with trees in bounds and hedges, and rainwater harvesting in farms and closed loop dung management has seen soil organic carbon in Akshayakalpa farms from 0.3% to 0.98% in 10 years.

On the consumer engagement side, we strive to help families access food free of antibiotics and chemicals and help families embrace a healthier lifestyle by giving them convenient access to nutritious and fresh organic milk and other farm produce. We are determined to deliver milk and farm produce that is better for our consumers, our farmers, and the planet.

Shashi (centre) working on one of the Akshayakalpa farms

We endeavour to bridge the gap between the past and the future, never at the cost of the environment. Sustainability is at the epicentre of our beliefs. This reflects in our ideologies and the practices at our farms and offices.

  • We are getting rid of the nasties at the grassroots level: Shunning synthetic pesticides and fertilizers across 1200+ Akshayakalpa farms helps keep chemical residue out of our food, out of the ocean and out of the air.  
  • Sustainable, ethically managed farms:  Our farms are zero-discharge facilities with provisions for rainwater harvesting. Bio-digesters on our farms produce biogas used for energy requirements. Residue sludge is used as organic manure to nourish the soil.
  • The shared onus for a better tomorrow:  Our recycling revolution – the ‘Let’s give back the milk pack’ initiative places a shared responsibility on our patrons to be a part of the recycling process to help us take responsibility for our trash. Since its inception in April 2022, we have collected back 23 tons of milk packs and prevented this plastic from reaching landfills.
  • Biodiversity for a healthy future: Our farms are home to various flora and fauna that live in tandem with each other in a natural ecosystem. Our farm visits allow patrons to experience this firsthand and rediscover their roots.
  • Giving farmers their due: Our community of rural farmers is at the heart of our organization. Our farmer-first initiatives aim to empower farmer families by helping them create reliable and sufficient incomes to lead a better life. We are the only dairy in India to pay its farmers every single day!
  • Innovation is the key: We are constantly looking for the best way to positively impact the environment. Our paperboard packaging that is 100% recyclable is a step in the right direction to eliminate plastic waste at the very source.

From growing organic fodder for our cows to prioritizing our farmers, from zero-discharge facilities to empowering women farmers, the constant out-of-the-box thinking makes Akshayakalpa Organic who we are!

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5 comments
  1. Gopal says:

    Hi,
    Excellent initiative indeed!
    Please let me know how can I order organic products from Akshayakalpa?

  2. Rakshith HN says:

    Super company

  3. DEBASISH GHOSH says:

    Hi,
    Excellent initiative indeed!
    Please let me know how can I order organic products from Akshayakalpa?

    Regards,

  4. Abhishek Lohiya says:

    Been using Akshaykalpa milk, curd, paneer for 3+ years now… the creaminess, inherent sweetness of their milk is too yumm.. I actually switched to plain milk because of Akshaykalpa… No sugar, no coffee nothing.. pure Akshaykalpa milk is all I need!!!!

  5. KDDIKSHIT says:

    I am using milk and milk products ,fruits and vegetables from Akshayakalpa taste and flavor is really good