Anantha Naturals Private Limited

Bio Basics – Safe Food, Better Health, Happy Farmers, Better Environment

Lead Organization

Anantha Naturals Private Limited

Coimbatore, State of Tamil Nadu, India

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

The Problem: Excessive use of chemicals in growing, storage and processing of food has led to unsafe food and poor health for consumers. The obsession for "cheap food" has impoverished farmers causing unprecedented level of suicides in India. All this has caused untold damage to our air, water, soil and agro-bio-diversity.The Solution: Popularize organic food through awareness sessions online/offline, and make it easily available through Bio Basics (a multi-city, omni-channel retailer) in a reliable, cost-effective and credible manner.Making organic food more acceptable will lead to better health among consumers, provide a better remuneration for farmers and protect our air, water, soil from chemical contamination, aside from preserving our agro-bio-diversity.

Problem Statement

Food laden with chemicals affects human health. So does the food that is over-processed. The staple food (rice, wheat, pulses, oils and spices) are either heavily chemicalized or over-processed. All consumers are therefore more prone to be inflicted by diseases which are scientifically proven to be caused by toxins contained in chemicalized and over-processed food. Consumer's obsession with "cheap food" has made the industry adapt dangerous methods to increase shelf-life, making food artificially attractive, spotlessly clean and transportable over long distances. Aside from food, chemicals have entered homes in the shape of soaps, shampoos, laundry/dish powders, cosmetics, etc, all believed to hurt human health.Cheap food kills the farmer immediately as the poor remuneration received for her hard work beset with climatic and market/price risks leads to unprecedented levels of debt and death (by suicides). As millions abandon farming in India, this largest profession is turning away the young who choose more lucrative and easier professions in the urban areas, leading to mass migration to cities.Ecologically, excessive use of chemicals poison the soil, the air and the water (both surface and ground water), causing diseases and even death among farmers and farm workers, which constitute over 60% (700 million people) of the Indian population. Use of Genetically Modified (GMOs) seeds threaten to wipe out the agro-bio-diversity of major crops (rice, pulses and fresh produce) for which India is the Center of Origin. As a water-deficit country, India relies heavily on chemical agriculture which requires much larger quantity of water.

Solution Overview

The solution to the problem lies in promoting organic food. As consumers demand organic food, farmers will take care to cultivate chemical-free produce, the environment will restore itself, and the government will start legislating against the use of chemicals in food production and storage. The proliferation of organic food among consumers (% market share in the food industry) is a good indicator of the solution to the problem. We should see enabling legislation following, and the prosperity of farmers increasing (including return of youth to farming).Over a 5-year period, Bio Basics expects that organic food will garner 5-10% of the food market, thereby crossing the "tipping point" where it would become aspirational for families to go organic for the sake of their own health. Organic food will become a household name. This impact will be both wide and deep. Wide in that millions of farmers would have chosen sustainable farming methods over chemical farming, their families would enjoy better health with less exposure to chemicals, their lands will be restored to a more vibrant, fertile condition, they would also enjoy a decent price for their work and escape poverty; the health of millions of consumers would improve with typical diseases (cancer, diabetes, PCOD, allergies, obesity, etc) receding from public space; lower contamination of air soil and water. Deep, as the consumers and farmers will realize how to work "with nature" rather than against nature, understand that humans are part of nature, and wisdom will dawn in "being organic".

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