Organic veggies and Dzukou

Two friends who quit corporate jobs to cultivate organic vegetables, an MBA dropout who became a mushroom millionaire, a couple taking organic seeds from farmers to urban gardeners, and a piece of paradise called Dzukou are all part of this newsletter

Rashmi Pratap
New Update
Organic veggies and Dzukou

Organic veggies and Dzukou

Dear Reader,

Have you ever eaten freshly harvested vegetables grown in your own garden or balcony? I had the privilege of growing up in a house with a kitchen garden. I remember plucking ladyfingers, tomatoes, chillies, brinjal, radishes and other vegetables, all grown organically using manure made from kitchen waste. 

My parents live surrounded by trees and plants even today. But as we all moved out of their nest, we left behind those organic vegetables. Today, some entrepreneurs are popularizing them as people are looking for healthier food options.

Two of our stories this week are based on organic veggies. My colleague Aruna spoke to Hyderabad-based Chandana and Naveen Gade who set up Seedbasket in 2016 after they could not find organic vegetables to feed their infant daughter.

Realising that others must also be facing this issue, they began procuring organic vegetable seeds from farmers to sell them online. Today, Seedbasket clocks Rs50 lakh in annual revenues. It has created a new revenue source for organic farmers who save native seeds and given wings to the dreams of many home gardeners. Do read this story.

The other interesting piece was written by my colleague Chandhini. She spoke to Rajesh KG and Renjith Das, who quit their high-paying jobs and began the cultivation of organic vegetables after losing ten people to cancer in their neighbourhood in Alleppy. 

They began organic farming on just 0.4 acres of land and have expanded it to four acres now. Alongside, they formed an 11-member group of farmers and sell over 500kg of veggies daily under the 'Eat It Safe' brand. The figure will go up to 3000 kg per day as they are bringing more area under cultivation. The products are priced above market rates and have a dedicated customer base.

Last week, I spoke to Shanker Meena, a mushroom entrepreneur from Jaipur, who dropped out of MBA in 2013. After figuring out what to do, he underwent mushroom cultivation training and started production in the garage of his house in 2017.

Shanker now sells mushroom spawns (seeds) worth Rs 13 lakh every month. He has recently set up a new unit with the capacity to produce 80 tonnes per month and hopes to close the next fiscal with revenues of over Rs5 crore. 

Our Sunday story is on the Dzukou Valley on the Nagaland-Manipur border. With flowers, greenery, and cotton-like clouds, Dzukou is a piece of paradise on earth. Do look it up if you have not finalized your next holiday destination yet.

As the year draws to a close, my colleague Karan suggests rejigging your investment portfolio by weeding out laggards and replacing them with stocks that have the potential to be outperformers in the New Year. He has listed the top ten midcaps for investment.

Happy Reading!




This Hyderabad couple’s organic seeds venture conserves native crop varieties, clocks Rs50 lakh annually


This duo quit corporate jobs to grow organic vegetables in Alleppy; their collective sells 500kg of veggies daily


Jaipur’s MBA dropout succeeds with mushroom seeds business; earns Rs13 lakh monthly revenues