Heirloom Seeds and Laddu Box

A software engineer couple who became super successful Laddu entrepreneurs, a farmer who accidentally discovered and then propagated an extinct rice variety, and Assam's Bahuboli eggs from a techie entrepreneur's farm are all part of our weekly newsletter

Rashmi Pratap
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Heirloom Seeds and Laddu Box

Heirloom Seeds and Laddu Box. Pic: Partho Burman

Dear Reader,

What comes to your mind when you think of heirloom? Mostly, jewellery, expensive sarees or wedding dresses, furniture, watches, artworks etc. But there are also heirloom seeds, which are passed on from one generation to another, carefully planted and saved in every season because they are precious and rare. They are pest-resistant, can withstand climate change and their produce is more nutritious and flavourful.

India lost most of its heirloom seeds for grains, fruits and vegetables after the Green Revolution, which promoted hybrid varieties. Farmers stopped growing native or indigenous rice, wheat and vegetables.

In 2005, Sukhdev Nath, a resident of the Sagar Islands in Sundarbans, Bengal, found a tightly sealed clay pot at his grandfather’s home. On opening it, he found the seeds of Harinakhuri paddy, which had become extinct. He tried cultivating them on a small patch and was successful, writes my colleague Partho.

In 2009, he shared the seeds with the Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya (BCKV) and the rest is history. Today, over 5,000 farmers in south Bengal are practising organic farming of Harinakhuri, which sells at Rs120 per kg! Do read this inspiring story of a local hero. 

Food is the theme of this newsletter. Our two other stories this week also revolve around food. My colleague Chandhini wrote an interesting piece on Akash Jyoti Gogoi’s layer poultry farming venture in Assam. Do you know that Assam procures 90% of its eggs for consumption from other states because hens have a low survival rate due to high humidity?

Beating all odds, Akash, a techie, has set up two farms which produce one lakh eggs daily and clock Rs22 crore in annual revenues. Sold under the Bahuboli brand, they retail at Rs9 per piece. More importantly, his startup is inspiring others to set up poultry farms and is helping bridge Assam’s egg deficit.

My colleague Riya wrote about Hyderabad-based Laddu Box, which was set up by software engineer husband-wife duo Saandeep Jogiparti and Kavitha Gopu in Hyderabad in 2020. It now supplies handcrafted sweets across India. The food startup does not use sugar or preservatives and offers laddus based on millets, pulses, and dry fruits with vegan options.

It is interesting to note that the couple invested Rs1 lakh to start the business, which generates Rs2 crore annually. All this happened in just three years (including the shutdown and slowdown during the lockdown). 

Our Sunday story is on Nongjrong, India’s English-speaking village above the clouds. Any guess where it is? Do read the story and see nature’s beauty at its best.

In the Money Section, Karan has put together a list of ten small-cap stocks that could shine in 2024. So if stock market investment is on your mind, don’t miss this one.

Happy Reading! 





Bengal farmer revives native paddy variety; earns Rs120 per kg with organic farming


How Assam’s techie entrepreneur built Rs 22 crore egg business


Engineer couple builds Rs 2 crore laddu business with Rs 1 lakh investment