India GameChanger was charmed by Jashid Hameed and Prithvi Kini, the co-Founders of Nuvedo.  Nuvedo are committed to building a community of mushroom enthusiasts, consumers, and trusted vendors for exotic varieties of mushrooms and premium mushroom products.

Some of the topics that Jashid and Prithvi covered:

  • How they became interested in permaculture, food systems and sustainability
  • Volunteering on farms during COVID-19
  • Creating a marketplace and supply chain for mushrooms in India
  • The importance of working with indigenous mushrooms and locally sourced substrates
  • Branding and the significance of local cultures, food and languages

Some other titles we considered for this episode, but ultimately rejected:

  1. Medicine, Engineering, or Law
  2. Food Is an Emotional Topic
  3. We Remove the Hurdles for the Average Farmer
  4. Climate Change Is Not Making Anything Easier
  5. I Want to Create Tangible Impact

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:09
Let’s have some fun. Hi… This is. Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to India GameChanger. Today we are joined by Prithvi Kini and Jashid Hameed, the co-founders of Nuvedo. Thank you. Prithvi and Jashid, thank you so much for coming on the show. How are you both doing today? You guys are

Prithvi Kini 0:33
Doing great.

Jashid Hameed 0:34
Pretty good. Yeah.

Prithvi Kini 0:35
And in the midst of the oncoming summer in coming summer, so things are getting pretty hot. And mushrooms not feeling very good. But yeah, doing well.

Michael Waitze 0:46
Where are you two based?

Prithvi Kini 0:50
So we’re based in Bangalore, India, which is in the state of Karnataka, down south. Yeah.

Michael Waitze 0:57
So what does that mean? If it’s just about to be summertime, what what is the previous season? Because I’m guessing it’s not winter, if you tell?

Jashid Hameed 1:05
I think Bangalore is one of those places is slightly has a better elevation. So in South, so that’s also the reason that we are so we set up a business here. So there is a sort of a winter, but I don’t think it’s anything close to a proper winter, the temperatures are out like 1617 degrees, but like, yeah, right before this was sort of a winter.

Michael Waitze 1:29
Good enough for me. Perfect. Can we start with you? Can we just get a little bit of your background? And then Josh, it will go to you for a second is that okay?

Prithvi Kini 1:38
So, well, I come from a, you know, philosophy background, I did philosophy in my undergrad. And I chose that after kind of moving away from three predetermined paths that, you know, the Indian education system kind of talks out for you, which is medicine, engineering, or law. And I said, Okay, I really don’t want to be doing this, and I’m not sure if I’m cut out for it at this stage. I mean, I want to be able to have the option of exploring, and I think that was a very, very good decision I took back when I was 18. And after that, of course, I went on to, you know, work at a science company, because I was still fascinated, you know, in science and tech, and all of that, and spent, you know, the first few years of my life working with a science based kind of, sort of, you know, research company. And then I said, Okay, you know, all this weight, but I want to be able to work in small teams and create, you know, tangible impact. So I moved to Bangalore, and at that time, I started working with a startup. And that’s where I think, you know, startups and smaller teams, and, you know, working in a manner that was a giant really hit me and I worked in the tech space, both in the space of Bioengineering and, you know, quantum cybersecurity, which is really the deep, deep end of tech. For a while, I had kind of setup a few, you know, startups in that space, and very challenging, very exciting. And all that was great. But I think, at some point, I was also like, you know, we can build on us, and we can have tons of tech, but at the end of the day, we have to eat and we have to survive. And I think the ideas of sustainability, and of course, being able to not just using it as a buzzword, but like truly being able to have, you know, understand food systems was something that was really of interest to me. So went on to look at permaculture and and also understand how in India, we’re looking at growing food. And that’s when I chanced upon mushrooms, and I think they are very, you know, interesting space to work with. And that’s how, you know, at that time, kind of Joshua was, I mean, I guess that’s where our points intersected. And we kind of, you know, met each other. And I think that would be a good segue into your story. And then maybe we can talk about personally looking into.

Jashid Hameed 4:18
Yeah, go for it. So yeah, my, I think I’m the polar opposite of Prithvi. I took one of the three predetermined paths. I ended up the engineering path and one of the top universities in the country did the whole, you know, they got boxes checked. Yeah, exactly. Then, did manufacturing engineering figured out? That wasn’t really what I was expecting. Yeah. And then after that, I was like, Okay, what do you do after being and becoming an engineer in India, you go to take an MBA, right, and one of the items are the top institutes in the country. So went on to part B of that story, then did an MBA One of the top universities take that off the off the list. And after that joined one of the big conglomerates here, which is in fast fashion, I worked with them in the retail space as an operations manager for those four years. Okay, so I was handling the PnL for like 25 stores in South India, across multiple states. I did that for three, four years. And then, you know, all the newness sort of started wearing off. And as somebody who really loved it, and was really into outdoor sports and sustainability and things like that, I think the impact of my actions started, started hitting me as working in one of the most polluting industries in the world in fast fashion, making people buy stuff that they didn’t really want to

Michael Waitze 5:48
make them buy a ton of it, right, because let’s be fair on this, they called fast fashion for a reason. They don’t want you to wear it that long. They want to manufacture it, have you buy it where and then buy more? So it’s even worse than it sounds? Sorry? I interrupted, you go ahead.

Jashid Hameed 6:03
It No, no, you’re exactly right. And every day I go to sleep, thinking about what what, what exactly am I contributing to right, right, man? Are these products coming from? And where is it going? Every month, I have a target to grow my business by 15% 20% 30%. And I’m like, Okay, fine, I’m making people buy even more of this stuff. And is this really what I want to contribute to? And that’s the same time that’s, that’s the time I decided to, you know, take a pause and just think about what exactly I’m doing with, you know, the kind of experience that I have. And I figured that, you know, I should be doing something, something more sustainable, like, which we said, yeah, and at the same time that both of us got sort of got interested in permaculture systems design, sustainability, we took some time off, volunteered in India, spent the entire time of COVID in different farms across India with hardly anybody around. So we really got to see what it takes to do this. And see, everybody thinks that, you know, you can just quit your job and walk to a farm and live by live on the mound. But I was I wanted to live that life and see if it is something that I really want to because it everything’s nice in theory, and what I found was that it’s really, really, really hard to make growing food in India, with the limited resources that we have, and all the challenges around us, it was super hard. So that’s sort of when this whole mushroom business started. And that’s the sort of thing that popped up in our minds.

Prithvi Kini 7:33
Yeah, okay. So I mean, and that was also I think, interesting, because, you know, while you know, taking, we come from a largely agrarian society, right, and you have these ideas about how food is grown. And, you know, we we know, that the small farmer is, you know, our greatest resource, but the way actually, people are looking at it as a system. And how as the world is changing RBS country, also looking at that change, through, you know, incorporating intelligent ways to grow, not just, of course, of course, growing, we’ve got a bunch of resources, I mean, you know, but are we using a lot of that, you know, tech, or using intelligent systems, not to say that we go down a path that say, the West has, you know, given us not to say that we create large systems that, you know, are completely out, I think it’s important, it was important to really look at the context of what is India and what is a nation that has a billion people? And how can we use the people as well in a way that is actually intelligent because that’s something the author discovered along the way and he said, Look, if we were to also go and again, set up a small farm our by ourselves, what’s going to happen to creating more, you know, food resources and creating more farmers out there that can actually feed the nation instead of you know, taking away from rather instead of taking away from rather than that adding to it and you know, building more structures and building systems that could be adopted. So from that perspective, is when we said okay, now to really look at Yeah,

Michael Waitze 9:18
I love the way you say this, right? So if you go to the United States and watch the development and we’ll use the US as a proxy for not India Yeah, for the Western world. You watch the development of farming going from small farms, which like you said, are really hard to do. There’s a reason why people wake up at four o’clock in the morning to farm and go to bed at six o’clock right if first of all if the sun’s not out it’s super hard to farm anyway. But how do you and then this Archer Daniels Midland and Monsanto come in and they create all these chemicals to for growth, but they also mechanized the farms in a way where the humans are mostly not necessarily they’re sitting in a vehicle that’s just kind of driving around. And if you go to the United States, there just aren’t that many farmers left anymore, which feels like it’s okay. But in reality, it’s not. So how do you create this balance between using technology to make farming easier, but don’t eliminate the human angle here, because you’re right. When we separate ourselves from the creation of food, we take it for granted in a way, we forget just how hard it is I was having a conversation with somebody earlier today. And I made the point that because we were talking about supply chain, so slightly different topic, but not so far away. But that if we took away the supply chain, and then you couldn’t get your food, most people couldn’t even grow a tomato in their backyard was the thing that I said, at all. So people should be in if they’re closer to the food production, they would think, Oh, this is really hard. So we should value it higher. And I always say this, too, that the beginning of the supply chain takes the least amount of money out of the supply chain. And by the time it gets to Whole Foods, you’re paying $7 for a tomato, but the guy and the gal that grew that tomato is making 25 cents. So how do you create this balance? And you can use mushroom farming as an example. But it’s really just a proxy for the bigger idea of how to create food. But how do you create this balance so that the people that are doing it can have an easier, but the people that are doing it don’t disappear so that other people can understand the actual value for that food creation? Does that make sense?

Jashid Hameed 11:23
Yeah. Really, really interesting point. Because right now, how things are moving in India? I think the only connection like us being the best example. The only connection that people have with the food is the price point. Yeah, that’s the only thing that you see a sticker on the supermarket. And that’s the only information that you have about the produce. And that’s also the reason why Buy stores like Whole Foods are doing really well. Because now people want the story. Yeah, they want to know

Michael Waitze 11:52
who grew that thing? I want to know, I want to give that guy the money. Anyway, go ahead.

Jashid Hameed 11:58
Exactly. Right. And you touched upon a really interesting point. And through new way, though, through what we’re doing what we’re trying to do through this see, mushroom cultivation is highly technical. It’s super technical. And that’s the reason that a lot of people are not able to get into it. Because there’s sterilization, you need HEPA filters, you need autoclaves in a party in a bunch of different things, you need to invest a lot of money into buying these things. And after you invest the money did trained in these things, you need a microbiologist or somebody who knows how to handle these equipment on your team. And how many farmers let’s face it, how many farmers can afford out of this? Yeah, and that’s Yeah, and that’s where we come in. And we’re like, you don’t need to do any of this. So we removed tech, or we removed the hurdles for an average farmer person who doesn’t know anything about mushrooms. For him to start growing mushrooms is super hard, because the learning curve is very steep, the technology is super expensive. So what we do is we remove the tech from the process, we do all the technical aspects of it, we removed the tech and we supply the supply these grow kits, basically, essentially what we’re doing is we’re working with farmers is supplying them with grow kits. And the only thing that they have to do is give it the right conditions to grow the mushroom at home. So now they don’t have the risk of their crop failing because of contamination, because which is that is a major risk in mushroom cultivation, because you use a lot of crop to other fungi or other pathogens in in the environment. And we removing that risk altogether, he doesn’t need to know how the bags are made, we just send the bags to him the ready to throw out mushrooms from day one, he is doing 12 cycles, instead of four cycles in a year, you can grow mushrooms, 12 times in a year, instead of three times he’s removed, he doesn’t have to face any of the risks of contamination. And that’s how we’re integrating the small farmer it was supply chain by giving them the technical inputs, training them on cultivation, giving them these growth kits and buying the mushrooms back from them. So

Prithvi Kini 13:56
if they weren’t if they weren’t

Michael Waitze 13:59
building the growth yet, I mean, obviously, they used to have done a ton of research, you can talk about that too, if you’d like him. And I presume that part of the thing that you did during the pandemic, when you were going around to look at all these other farms was trying to figure out how can we standardize a process that will make the Grow kits give us a consistent output of mushrooms that are not exactly the same but close enough within a margin of error, right? Just statistically, so that the stuff that comes from over here is the same thing that comes to over there. But then also how can we create a marketplace and the proper logistics and supply chain to get it from all over India, or wherever they’re grown into places where people can actually buy them, right because I can I can grow mushrooms in the back with a grower kit, but if it’s just for me, that’s great. But I can’t eat every single mushroom that I grow. So if you’re also creating the marketplace, how does all that work, as well just like logistically Do you know? I mean, and is it mostly for people that were already farming something or is it for new farmers? Or is it both?

Jashid Hameed 15:05
To start with, it’s mostly for people who are already growing something, because we don’t want them to exclusively depend on the mushrooms for it, it’s more of a supplementary income. That’s how we’re looking at it, maybe in the future, maybe have the demand, I can reach out to farmers and say you just do this for us. Okay, so right now, it’s for people who already have farmers who already have some income coming in and want to supplement their income with something extra, because mushrooms really don’t need a lot of time, they just need a little bit of time in the morning in the evening, and during harvest during harvest, isn’t it, there’s a lot of labor involved. And the second thing is we work with, we work with medicinal mushrooms. So we essentially turn medicinal mushrooms into extracts. That’s our core, that’s our core business. So when you’re working with functional mushrooms, the raw material, the functional muscle actually is dried, right. So 90% of the weight of a mushroom is generally water. So what we’re doing is eliminating the weight, we are increasing the shelf life of the product, so the logistics doesn’t become an issue anymore. And we do this in small clusters. So we grow mushrooms in places where they can grow naturally, because India has been blessed with a diverse climate there, we have a lot of different climates. And we are essentially trying to figure out, we can give them the mushrooms that grow well in their location. And then there’s a small hub, as one farmer acts as a small hub where he collects all the mushrooms from from his locality or from around him. And then they ship it out to us when it’s ready. And we work with a margin of error, because we’ve done a lot of r&d on these mushrooms. And we know the we know how much they can expect the bare minimum. And the pricing and the quantities we calculate on the basis of the like the average or the worst case scenario sometimes. And we’re odd at the pilot stage of this right now, actually, okay, we’ve got five, six different farms in different parts of the country, essentially making mushrooms for us. And we’re sort of piloting this to see how how well this model can work. And again, lots of predictions, we look at the weather patterns for the next couple of months to see how well it’s going to do all of these things is going to take some fine tuning. And climate change is definitely not making anything easier for us. So we’re working with indigenous strains of mushroom rather than importing strains from the USA, Japan or China, which may or may not. Yeah, it might not do well here. We’re trying to find mushrooms which grow naturally in India, which are adapted to the Indian climate and using materials which we find locally to it to reduce our carbon footprint, right?

Prithvi Kini 17:40
Yeah, so I was saying one example of that is, so a lot of the mushrooms that come you know, the literature that surrounds oyster mushrooms are simple mushroom is study straws. They say that paddy straw is a substrate that really works well with an oyster mushroom. But in certain states, of course study is grown, but the time it would take to reach you or by the time you actually have to source it from a farmer, it will probably outweigh the costs. So what we’ve started doing is we started working with, you know, cereal grains that are, you know, more readily grown. And for example, rhaggy rhaggy is a, you know, a mullet that is traditionally grown in Karnataka. And it is, has now started its revival, of course, because people have understood climate change, and they realize that this doesn’t require, you know, it’s a very robust crop, it doesn’t require too much water, things like that. So we would anyway, already working with ragi. And we’ve trained a lot of our strains to work on this particular, you know, minutes. So this is also this is like one kind of an example to it to demonstrate how we’ve also been working with locally available substrates, rather than using what is always just, you know, put out there in literature papers or published and said, you know, this is the ideal substrate for this mushroom.

Jashid Hameed 19:01
just interject here and say, for everybody who’s listening who doesn’t know what substrate means it’s the material that you grow mushrooms on. So mushrooms are essentially fungi. And you can’t you don’t they don’t know the same way that plants do. They decomposers so they grow on lignocellulosic waste, which is essentially sawdust, or agricultural waste, such as your wheat straw or rye straw, things like that. So what we’re saying is that the material that we use to grow mushrooms, see the the research paper for a paper from the USA might recommend awkward, solders to grocery darky. But where am I going to get awkward sawdust in Bangalore. And that’s essentially the kind of research that we’re doing also to find out ways to come up with things low use things that are locally available, so that we’re also sort of reducing the waste which is being generated around and reducing our carbon footprint.

Michael Waitze 19:57
So for both of you, this is actually really important you just said she Takei, and you, you know that the Japanese strain of mushroom, right, I lived in Japan for 22 years, I had a lot of it when I was there. I don’t understand the difference, though between a stuck in mushroom and a regular mushroom, in the sense that I don’t know whether it’s more nutritional. For me the taste, frankly, is not that different to me. It depends on the way you cook it. But at some level, the Japanese have done a really good job of saying this, she thought a mushroom should be more expensive, more, you know better whatever it is, do you think about branding as well? I know it’s a little bit off topic from the scientific conversation we’ve been having. But if you really want to have impact, you want to have more people participating on the other side of the market on the purchase side of the market. So do you consider branding, as well. So you can get to a point where people know the names of the mushrooms that you’re developing, or also know the name of new vedo? Sorry, you’re both looking at each other. Like to yell at him loud. We punch him like, what should we do? But I’m just curious what the branding

Jashid Hameed 20:59
question actually. Yeah. And the funny thing is, that’s how we’re actually spending a lot of time working on in India, because mushrooms are as much Indian as they are Chinese, Japanese, or American name for sure.

Prithvi Kini 21:14
Yeah, yeah, they need the part of the Ecosystm, eight Ecosystm that had enough diversity, which India does, has had a bunch of different kinds of mushrooms that have been used. And

Jashid Hameed 21:25
we have local names, too. That’s the part from a part of our local culture is just that, like everything else we sort of in India accepted after it becomes popular in the US, you know, so yeah, exactly. Same question we asked ourselves every day. So what we’ve been sort of going through today, though, is trying to revive the story around mushrooms, the Indian story around mushrooms retelling the Indian narrative by using a our names because language and culture are a way to promote this right? If you want a person who doesn’t know this, to use it, it has to first permeate their life. And food is an emotional topic is not just like something that you grab from the shelf. So just to get that connection, like you rightly said, we have a local name that we try to use them as much as possible should mile Beilby marketer produce.

Prithvi Kini 22:21
And of course, while that’s you know, it’s quite a mammoth task, considering India has 100 languages. I mean, we are a nation where in every state, every tribe every, you know, few kilometers, the language changes and the mushrooms that are used in those contexts change. Exactly. So one of the are like eating a huge goal is also to kind of work with researchers, as well as start documenting, and start to talk about certain kinds of mushrooms, especially the ones that we’re working with, from a context of history as well as, you know, local cultures. For example, we have room to the largest Adivasi population in the world, which is the tribal population. And we have, you know, certain mushrooms that have been used for treating various kinds of element elements. For example, you know, if you think of the Ganoderma species, which is a reishi, mushroom, you know, it’s been used across tribes in central India, they use it even in the northeast, there are your evidences to prove that certain mushrooms that are now coming up as medicinal mushrooms have always had, you know, uses for say asthma immunomodulation, or skin treatments, you know, as wound healing. And, and, and it’s only I mean, these are all there. There’s in there’s a lot of documented evidence, but it’s all in a research paper. Now you tell me which Indian is going to look at going through research paper to really understand what’s the mushroom. So kind of breaking down all this information, putting it out there, and you rightly said, I think branding is definitely one aspect of it, were telling the story in different languages, too, I think we realize that you start using the name in that language, people are so much more comfortable, and so much more at ease with it. For example, one of the things that we also started doing at livedo was we started developing recipes with, say, a shoe document shoe, but we’re going to call it in the language of say Kerala for the state of Kerala, Malayalam and we kind of created a recipe that was very, you know, in line with that culture. So for example, we use coconut we use local ingredients and we kind of enhanced the flavors to create a dish that is very relatable and it did really well. We’ve tried it out in a you know, events. We’ve tried it in flea markets, even a traditional dish like non traditional but I’d like to say A snack in Indian snack, a samosa which is like a folded samosa

Michael Waitze 25:08
just because I know what a samosa is doesn’t mean that everybody else does but

Prithvi Kini 25:11
okay, so if someone says like a deep fried Patty, like a one time Yes, like a fried wonton, but filled with potato and peas and a few masala in it. Yeah it is. But imagine if the samosa was filled with a little bit of mushroom to there, you’re also bringing in a snack that’s very comfortable for people to eat, but you’re introducing a new ingredient there. And that’s when people are like, Oh, mushrooms, and she talking mushroom samosa? Wow.

Jashid Hameed 25:44
Like the the question that we get asked the most is, so do you guys do sell culinary mushrooms or your functional mushroom company? What do you What are y’all doing? And Bodhi realized is that to be able to present mushrooms or something that has healing benefits, you have to present mushrooms first, they have to bring the idea of mushrooms as as food first and then you can slowly graduate people into talking about it as medicine because here in India, the position that we are in right now, the question that we get asked the most is, is mushrooms vegetarian or non vegetarian, it’s, we have to start there.

Michael Waitze 26:21

Jashid Hameed 26:23
So we’re doing a lot of things to get people to talk about this, to make them comfortable with the idea of consuming mushrooms and then slowly making them understand through this process, that they have healing benefits, and they’re a bunch of different things that they’re good for. And then you can have extracts. So we try to tell that story with the local context,

Michael Waitze 26:42
do you feel like there’s a secular change taking place in the way people are looking at just medicinal solutions at scale. And again, this may be out of scope. But just to work with me for a second. You can look at, you know, big drug companies, whether they’re in the US or in Europe, or frankly, in India as well, which does great research and great production of traditional drugs. But then you can also look like you said, mushrooms is just one example. Functional mushrooms is just one example of something that tribes in, you know, people not in the tribes themselves, but have been using for medicinal purposes for centuries, not just for like, five days or five weeks. Do you feel like there’s a movement away from mass produced existing very expensive drugs, to these medicinal mushroom style solutions to health problems that have been around forever? Anyway? Do you know what I mean? You see people moving back to this?

Jashid Hameed 27:40
Right, I think, yeah, it’s, it’s again, like I think that works both ways. The big, the big companies are also super interested in these materials, because they’re, they’re like, Okay, what’s in it that we haven’t seen before? Right? And then there are people on the other side, we’re like, okay, fine, I don’t I maybe don’t want to take something that comes out of a lab or a factory, and I want to grow my own medicine. And all of this came because of COVID. Right? Those those two years really made people think, what they’re putting in their bodies, and what’s the consequence of that. So I feel like it has to be together, it has to be integrative. And I think that’s what’s happening because now we have integrative medicine as a certification course, that’s happening in top universities in India, were looking at an illness or a health condition with either Veda and a lot with the and traditional Chinese medicine and yoga together, not one against the four experts who come together, and they sit. And they talk about what’s happening to the patient and the tribe. So I feel like, though there are people who are moving away from pharma into home remedies, or growing their own food or using herbal remedies, on the larger scale, I feel like the change can really happen in the market is when they both come come together. And

Prithvi Kini 29:02
yeah, and I just wanted to add one point, though, like, of course, you know, tragically say in India, is that me? So you can I mean, we have still not reached the point, I think, where people are rejecting armor, because they’re just kind of getting people are just kind of almost getting access to it in a more comfortable way. Like if you think of the larger population. So for us to reject pharma will be amazing months down the line. But having said that, I think we were always a culture that was using home remedies and creating for example, or your radar right, a very strong part of the entire nation. And I think this I could say unanimously, so while I remember the came again, as a big wave, people started rejecting pharma here what happened is where there is access, no offer and people can actually, you know, even the poorest More people can have access to medicines. Government has done a lot for that. So we’re not there yet where the entire nation per se can start rejecting it yet, because the context is very different. So I see like, I think what Josh had said I see is a space where there won’t be rejection, but they’ll be like this, this crazy, you know, energy that might happen, because we are we, maybe we we don’t we never when went through the phase of Oh pharma taking over everything. And then people going back to,

Michael Waitze 30:32
you know, traditional natural remedies. Yeah.

Jashid Hameed 30:36
Yeah, yeah, it’s part of our culture has always been there.

Prithvi Kini 30:38
So it’s not like, oh, we had to let go of something to adopt something. But more like, Hey, we got now got access to this. But we still have, you know, these traditional practices. So how do we kind of integrate both? So maybe that would be a better way?

Michael Waitze 30:55
That’s a great answer to a really uninformed question. I like it a lot. Actually. I really like it. I mean, look, ignorance is okay, the reason why I ask questions, because I don’t know the answer I really want to learn and that’s just a killer answer to this. I want to ask you this as well. You know, India is this big, sprawling, sort of culturally, linguistically, and food wise, different country, in combination, right, with all the states there. What role does the government or should the government play in the kind of thing that you’re trying to accomplish in this building of an ecosystem around mushrooms all the way from helping smallholder farmers grow mushrooms better, all the way to the end of the supply chain? Are there things that the government should do is doing that you expect them to do? Do they kit? How does this all work as well?

Jashid Hameed 31:45
The thing is, thing is the government isn’t really promoting mushrooms. For our cultivation side, like they gave out loans, there are subsidies for farmers to apply to get access to easy credit. But that’s all on the supply side. You know, they’re helping people to grow a lot of helping farmers to come to the Lord. But see, you have the world’s largest resources out there. And it should be a no brainer. And the reason why people haven’t adopted is because they haven’t done enough. On the demand side, there’s not enough marketing that’s happening. And they’re not portraying mushrooms in the same way that they did eggs. Because if you look in the poultry industry, in India, it’s the same situation. If you go back in the back to the 90s, reduce a lot of people into, you know, large scale farming of chicken and eggs. And then what happened was, everybody was growing it, but nobody wanted to eat eggs, because people were not used to having so many eggs in India. And then the government came up with this national level campaign where they said in Hindi, they said Sunday via Monday roast cow Monday, I still remember it. And it was such a big campaign translate. Yeah, it says sorry, even if it’s Sunday, or Monday, you have to eat eggs every day. That’s what they said. And that campaign just blew up. And so everybody started eating eggs, and something as simple as that. And that was on the radio or the TV. So what we expected we bought we feel like the government should be doing is helping us on spreading awareness about mushrooms. Right. So then the consumption can increase? Because India has. I’ll give you I’ll give you small some statistics. India has a per capita mushroom consumption yearly annual mushroom consumption per capita about 80 grams, compared to like three kilograms in the US. Okay, and that number is as high as 20 kilograms in China. Yeah. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of mushrooms, they eat 20 kgs of mushroom per person per year. Wow, it’s around three kilograms per person per year in the US, India’s not even 100 grams. Right. So it’s clearly an issue with education and awareness surrounding this, this food, food food product, basically.

Michael Waitze 33:56
But it sounds to me like it’s way more than I expected. I expected have a conversation with you about food, really. But what we’ve really done is talked about supply chains. We’ve talked about medicinal qualities. We’ve talked about science, we’ve talked about technology. We’ve talked about ecosystems and marketplaces. And what this means to me is that we don’t have enough time. I want to have both of you back if you don’t want to talk more about this as your business continues to grow, right, because as you get more experience, helping farmers building better grow kids, building, you know, continuing to build the ecosystem and doing more r&d. I want to keep catching up with both of you if that’s okay, and also understand more on the branding side as you continue to build out the brands to see how that’s going. I really want to thank both of you for doing this today. Prithvi Kini and Jashid Hameed, the co-founders of Nuvedo I really appreciate your time today. Thank you so much for doing this.

Prithvi Kini 34:51
Thank you so much for having us. I think I really enjoy it. You know where this kind of went and I love that it was just this way of We went in and out of like a you know when macro and micro and it was fine. I

Jashid Hameed 35:08
was Michael. Yeah, very thought provoking questions let us think about a lot of things. And we would love to be back on the show. And I could never turn down an opportunity to talk about mushrooms as people back anytime just have let us know man, thank you again. Thank you so much


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