World Resources Institute and Sangam Ventures are proud to introduce the first cohort of the Land Accelerator South Asia. Over the course of two days, these 15 innovative entrepreneurs whose businesses restore land will pitch to an (online) room of investors. Register today to join them!

An agroforestry tea plantation in India. Credit: James Anderson/WRI

Restoring land is good business

Entrepreneurs throughout South Asia are looking toward the land, which has suffered from decades of degradation. Their mission is to heal this damage and build strong rural economies. The opportunity is big: nearly 140 million hectares of land in India alone could benefit from restoration. That is around 42% of its entire area, much of it managed by rural small landholders and tribal communities.

Through the past six months of training and mentorship, the Land Accelerator has brought together a geographically diversified group of 15 exciting companies who aim to revitalize farms and forests through agroforestry, ecological restoration, organic land amendments, Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP), and climate smart irrigation.

This program is funded by the IKEA Foundation and supported by Startup India and Invest India as the outreach partners and Labs Indigram, Villgro, Upaya Social Ventures, Ankur Capital, and Omnivore as the community partners.


Join us on Dec 1 and Dec 2 to learn more about these entrepreneurs, their vision for a greener South Asia, and what financing support they need.

The Companies

  • Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Co  purchases and markets NTFPs produced by indigenous people in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve in Tamil Nadu, representing 1609 tribal shareholders from over 160 villages. 
  • AI-GENIX International replaces pesticides/chemicals with its Artificially Intelligent pest traps which increase yields by 30-40% and reduce input cost when compared to chemical pest management.
  • Bastar se Bazaar Tak works with 250 small and marginal tribal farmers from 7 villages in Chattisgarh on sustainable harvesting and post-harvest value addition/processing of NTFPs.
  • Bee Basket rescues honeybees in urban centers - having rescued beehives for over 5,000 urban residential and commercial clients in Pune. 
  • EF Polymer has created a 100% organic and fully biodegradable water retention polymer that is mixed into soil to reduce water and fertilizer requirements and increase yield by over 30% in arid lands. 
  • Gratitude Farms creates agroforestry systems on under-utilized or abandoned farmland covering 20 hectares, in 6 districts of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu through its organic “Food Forest” model with multi-cropping tree-based agroforestry interventions.
  • Hasten, formerly Alaap, designs and funds regenerative economic development projects in emerging markets based on reforestation, soil regeneration, and food production.
  • IBANSS, formerly Biomize, developed a patent-pending process to create polymers made from bamboo, rice and wheat waste that can be used in any plastic manufacturing machine to make products ranging from silverware, to food storage containers, replacing single use plastics.
  • Innotech Interventions restores land and water ecosystems that have been contaminated with hazardous waste from mining and oil extraction, with the use of their signature Phyto-assisted Land conditioning and Microbial Augmentation Technology.
  • Jeev Anksh Eco Products provides market linkages to over 10,000 farmers of organic and indigenous products in Northeast India, fetching them better returns and international market access.
  • Rhodotion has created a mixed farming system in Northeast India, where usually monocrop tea reigns. 
  • SenzAgro is a precision agricultural firm that sells a soil sensing system that increases yield by 20%, decreases water usage by 40%, and decreases the usage of pesticides and fertilizers by 40%. 
  • SquareRoots works with over 21 small landholder clients/absentee farmers to transform their 210 hectares of land from abandoned farms to thriving agroforestry systems with eight tree varieties utilizing a unique co-financing and buy-back agreement.
  • Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Pvt Ltd is an environmental services company that increases the water storage potential of borewells, ensuring wells can continue to provide water in the light of population growth and climate change.
  • Vasumitra Life Energies offers a suite of 100% organic fertilizers and plant nutrients that reduce the amount of water used by 50% and chemicals used by 70%, yet resulting in higher yields.