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INDIA : Coca-Cola, Jain Irrigation to scale up mango farming project

















MUMBAI, MAY 26: 











Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages and Jain Irrigation are to scale up their joint initiative `Project Unnati' with investments of Rs 50 crore over a period of 10 years.







After achieving the desired results in Phase 1, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages and Jain Irrigation Systems have decided to scale up five-fold the mango farming project for the end-supply of mango juice. The initiative will reach 25,000 farmers in Phase 2.








The project will identify farmers holding an area of 50,000 acres and support them in adopting the Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) technology. 





Selected farmers will be provided assistance for using this technology during the duration of the project.





The UHDP technique enables plantation of nearly 600 trees on an acre instead of the conventional method of planting 40 trees, thereby increasing yield and improving the livelihood of the farmers. 





The innovative technique has been standardised and commercialised by Jain Irrigation at its research and development farm at Udmalpet, Tamil Nadu, where currently 100 acres is under UHDP.





While Unnati Phase 1 has successfully trained farmers on UHDP Technology and encouraged them to adapt to the new technology, Unnati Phase 2 focusses on building a deeper relationship and engagement with farmers.





The objective is to harness the higher productivity potential of mango farms, with Jain Irrigation offering all UHDP implementing farmers the option of buying back the fruits cultivated. The scaled up initiative is expected to deliver close to 300 KMT fruit by 2022-23.










T Krishnakumar, Chief Executive Officer, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages and Atul Jain, Joint Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard.










Krishnakumar said,
"Scaling up the initiative in close association with farmers and Jain Irrigation will result in the creation of an ecosystem that delivers higher growth and income for farmers and helps us streamline the supply chain and enhance productivity for our brands Maaza and Minute Maid Mango."






Jain added: "India is the largest producer of mango pulp in the world, with one of the lowest mango yield. The UHDP is a proven technology, commonly practiced for mango cultivation worldwide and combined with other sustainable agricultural techniques has the potential to yield upwards of 200 per cent more produce than the traditional method.''






Over the next 10 years, the company aims to scale up the project to cover end-to-end the fruit supply chain and optimise delivery, Jain added.







Over two-thirds of the Rs 5,000 crore-a-year Indian juice drinks market comprises mango drinks alone. 



Juice drinks offer a tremendous business opportunity if managed on a long-term, sustainable basis. However, the area under mango cultivation is not growing at the same rate.










Agricultural practices under Project Unnati offer the basis to improve mango productivity and hence enhance supply of mango pulp for the industry, the companies said in a statement.









During phase 1 of Project Unnati, which was launched in 2011 with an investment of $2 million, the partners worked towards highlighting the need of UHDP technology and in assisting early adoption of the practice.





Through interventions such as `Coca-Cola University on Wheels' Bus and active outreach, nearly 4,000 farmers have been covered. UHDP Technology embedded with drip irrigation, on-site training and farm supplement support have been implemented by several farmers, which has led to the first harvest of mangoes this year, said the companies.







(This article was published on May 26, 2014)








http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/cocacola-jain-irrigation-to-scale-up-mango-farming-project/article6049224.ece





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