Mumbai, 27 May-2014: Jain Irrigation and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. (HCCBPL) announced that they would jointly invest Rs.50 crore over the next 10 years in Project Unnati, a project targeting mango farmers with the aim of increasing yield.
During the first phase, the partners invested $2 million (around Rs.12 crore) and worked towards highlighting the need and benefits of ultra-high density plantation (UHDP) technology for mango cultivation. It established 200 demo farms in the mango-growing Chittoor region in Andhra Pradesh and covered around 4,000 farmers.
The second phase of the project will now be extended to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and the project will identify nearly 25,000 farmers covering around 50,000 acres and support them in adopting the UHDP technology. The project is mainly to supply ‘Totapuri’ mangoes to make HCCBPL’s mango drinks Maaza and Minute Maid.
The UHDP technique enables plantation of nearly 600 trees per acre against the conventional 40 trees, thereby increasing the yield and returns. “The objective is to harness the higher productivity potential of mango farms to our business by Jain Irrigation offering all UHDP implementing farmers and an option of buying back the fruits cultivated,” T. Krishnakumar, CEO, HCCBPL, told the media. “The scaled up initiative is expected to deliver close to 300,000 tonnes of fruit by the year 2022-23.”
Dilip Kulkarni, President-Sustainable Agriculture for Small Holders, Jain Irrigation, said “this is perhaps the world’s largest such experiment and point to the way agriculture has to grow in India.” Jain has been processing the mangoes for HCCBPL for several years now.
(Input source: The Hindu)