Nalima Kariappa

A Trailblazer In Agriculture

Nalima has been single-handedly handled managed her family’s coffee plantation for over 10 years and has worked towards making it an eco-friendly property.

For more than 10 years, with no prior knowledge and in a typically male dominated role, our mother Nalima, has single handedly managed our family coffee plantation. She has helped change the female stereotypes that plague the labour-intensive world of agriculture. She is a very dignified and brave woman. She commands the respect of everyone around her with her strong belief in fighting corruption and her persistence to upkeep a bribe-free community within all aspects of her business: from dealing with the local panchayat when the government streams on her farm are illegally dammed by farmers, to working with government land surveyors, forest department or electricity officials.

In addition to that, she is always trying to ensure that all her employees’ children are educated to their maximum potential by encouraging them to stay in school and sponsoring children when the need arises. Also, she is extremely supportive of her employees and is always trying to find new roles for any worker who is interested. Our mother has not only shown a keen interest in her workforce and in maintaining a high ethical standard of doing business, but she has also maintained serenity with nature. She understands that protecting and preserving our planet is of utmost importance. Hence, she has created a truly eco-friendly property that has been certified by the Rainforest Alliance since 2012, a rare and challenging accomplishment in India.

After our father’s death in 2007, she took over managing the coffee plantation. She also started two additional successful small businesses on the property, to supplement the erratic agricultural income. Her ventures employ local village people and she trains them with basic hospitality skills which they can use in their future endeavours. The first was a small coffee shop called Coffee Barn Cafe which she started with a vision to provide a comfortable break with amazing home-grown coffee and clean restrooms to tourists and locals alike. The second was a series of two cottages, a home stay experience called HalliBerri Cottages which allows curious travellers an experience of a planter's life. Both the coffee shop and cottages have become an overnight success and have consistently received the Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor and we continue to maintain some of the highest ratings.

She is currently actively managing the plantation, the coffee shop and the cottages, all while also juggling being a mother of three grown girls living in three different cities and , a grandmother to three grandchildren. Till very recently, she was also a caregiver to her mother-in-law, who has now passed away. The epitome of her personality is that she juggles all her duties and responsibilities with a very calm and modest spirit. She also ensures that everyone around her has a chance to voice their opinions and is treated with integrity and respect.


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