Pruthvi Raj has done his Masters from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, specializing in forestry and marketing. He has been working with Tata Coffee for the past three years, living and working on a plantation in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. He is on a one-year sabbatical from Tata Coffee while he attends to the SBI Youth for India Fellowship programme.
Pruthvi is interested in the marketing of NTFC (Non-Timber Forest Crop) products, such as honey. He will be working with the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, focusing on natural resource management and rural marketing. He believes that many problems in tribal areas are related to the lack of regular employment. According to him, the development of NTFC products will provide a good platform for tribal populations to earn for themselves. He gives an example of how honey is being cultivated and processed in a special school by the Tata Trust by the tribals themselves.
Pruthvi also wants to help in the transfer of technology from the “lab to the land.” He wants to ensure that technology has a direct impact on the end user. This is possible only when you understand both sides of the story.