Pongamia is a self-sufficient, heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant, tropical tree that can produce monster yields of beans packed with protein and oil on marginal land. And its oil turns out to be a substitute for olive oil. The story, with many twists and turns, began when business student Naveen Sikka visited India in 2009 on a quest for sustainable biofuel, and created a company to promote biofuels with US farmers. After de-bittered pongamia oil turned out to be a substitute for olive oil, Terviva partnered with food giant Danone to develop pongamia as a non-GMO alternative to soy and palm oil. The first products featuring its "Ponova oil" could hit the market early next year. But because it did not catch on with US farmers, Terviva began paying impoverished Indian farmers to pick the more than 1 million tons of pongamia seeds from wild trees. Already it has produced 5,000 tons of beans, enough to take Ponova oil to market, while injecting $2 million into impoverished rural areas in India.