Two things we really look forward to in the mountains are fresh air and fresh food.
Uttarakhand is also lovingly called Dev Bhoomi; the land of gods owing to the number of Hindu pilgrimage sites in these gorgeous mountains. What’s also heavenly though, is the food from this region. Every time you sample a home-cooked meal in the mountains of Uttarakhand, the head, the heart and the stomach experience a sense of pure joy. Ever wondered why? The agrarian communities of these mountains are famous for cultivating traditional pulses, cereals, millets and grains, grown naturally without any chemicals. Growing and selling these pulses is one of the most important sources of livelihood for these communities.
The production of pulses, millets and spices had gone up in the region but there were a lot of middlemen, high transportation costs and the products had no real identity of belonging to Uttarakhand. They were scattered and grown in particular geographical pockets and sold with their local names. For example, Munsiyari Rajma grows in Munsiyari and Harshil Rajma grows in Uttarkashi. However, while each of these products have a distinct regional identity which is important to maintain, there were logistical issues to get them to wholesale buyers. These buyers want to purchase the product at one place, under one brand and with uniform quality control standards. This led to the forming of the brand Trishulii, in 2016, under the aggies of Himmotthan Society: an associate organization of Tata Trusts. This is a co-operative of farmers and their main objective is to streamline product development, branding, marketing and quality control.
The organization works in 11 districts and 20 development blocks. The project has successfully impacted the lives of more than 4000 farmers and their families by ensuring that they get a fair price for their products, get consistent income, and assured buyers. They also help with improving farms’ productivity by providing relevant information about weather changes, reducing farm to warehouse cycles by implementing efficient supply chain techniques, and providing advanced equipment that leads to a sizable increase in production. It has also harnessed entrepreneurship potential among farmers with periodic training and business opportunities. In 2018, chefs from the Taj Group of Hotels prepared dishes using 25 products from Trishulii’s inventory and have since then continued to source products from Trishulii. “The rajma from Munsyari is famous and people from all parts of India appreciate it. We work very hard to keep it that way. This crop is attacked by pests many times but we still don't use any chemicals to grow our rajma. We also work with women's cooperatives. We help them increase their income and savings and organize meetings for the same. We also help them with their day-to-day issues,” says Anandi Didi who has been working as a director at Trishulii for the past four years.
To buy unique varieties of Pahadi Rajma and Rice from Uttarakhand, directly from the farmers who grow them, please click here!