Mumbai, May 26 :
At least 25,000 farmers cultivating over 50,000 acres of land in India are expected to benefit from a sustainable farming practice which has shown to more than double the average mango yields.
The practice called the Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) is a joint initiative of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. (HCCBPL) and Jain Irrigation. The two Monday announced plans to scale up the project.
After achieving the desired results in Phase 1, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. made the announcement of scaling the initiative fivefold, reaching 25,000 farmers in Phase 2 at an investment of Rs.50 Cr. over next 10 years.
T. Krishnakumar, chief executive officer, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., and Anil Jain, managing director, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., signed the memorandum of understanding on implementing Phase 2.
“Scaling up of 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 supply chain and enhance productivity for our Indian brands Maaza and Minute Maid Mango,” Krishnakumar said.
“The scale of this project enables us to confidently continue to deliver the refreshing beverages to consumers at affordable price points…Partnership between business, civil society and government is the key to building a more sustainable future.”
Jain said: “India is the largest producer of mango pulp in the world, with one of the lowest mango yield. Ultra High Density offers is a proven technology,…and combined with other sustainable agricultural techniques has the potential to yield upward of 200 percent more produce.”
“Over the next 10 years, we aim to scale up the project to cover end-to-end fruit supply chain and further optimize delivery.”
Over two-thirds of the Rs.5,000-crore-a-year Indian juice drinks market consists of 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.
The new UHDP technique enables plantation of nearly 600 trees in an acre, instead of the conventional method of planting 40 trees, thereby increasing yield and improving the livelihood of the farmers.
In UHDP, the tree canopy is maintained in such a way as to attain maximum light interception in early years of plantation. This leads to the orchard attaining full potential in 3-4 years.
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. is the largest bottling partner of the Coca-Cola Company in India, and responsible for the manufacture, package, sale and distribution of beverages under the trademarks of the Coca-Cola Company.