Mumbai, February 13, 2016: Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd (HCCBPL), one of India’s leading beverage manufacturing companies and the largest bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company, in India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Government of Maharashtra and Jain Irrigation for Project “Orange Unnati”, at the commencement of the ‘Make in India Week’ in Mumbai.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis.
This MoU and the subsequent implementation of the partnership project will provide a boost to the orange farmers in the state ensuring high quality produce, state-of-the-art pulping and processing of oranges for packaged beverages and capability building of farmers for them to adopt sustainable and high yield agricultural practices. This MoU follows the successful partnership between HCCBPL and Jain Irrigation for Project “Mango Unnati” where the two partners help mango farmers grow and then process high quality mango produce for use in Maaza and Minute Maid range of juice products. Jain Irrigation and HCCBPL recently signed an agreement where HCCBPL will procure mango pulp worth Rs. 750 crore (approx. USD 115 MN) over 3 years, from Jain Irrigation, out of produce sourced from local mango farmers.
Under the tripartite agreement between the Govt of Maharastra, Jain Irrigation and HCCBPL, the partners will set up a juice manufacturing facility in Vidarbha region. They will also support local farmers in the cultivation of Indian orange mandarins with the adoption of Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) technique to boost orange yield. UHDP is a scientific process that ensures higher yield of agri produce per acre of land and within a time span, which is significantly lesser than fruit grown using traditional methods of farming.
The partners will also establish a modern hi-tech nursery and develop knowledge sharing processes for the benefit of the farmers including using classroom training and field demonstrations for UHDP
Project “Orange Unnati” will also seek to unlock prospects of leveraging “NOGA” brand (Nagpur Orange Grower Association) of Oranges. NOGA is a subsidiary company of state Government of Maharashtra). This project is estimated to benefit 5,000 farmers with an average landholding of 2 acres each.
According to Mr. T Krishnakumar, Chairman, HCCBPL, “We are grateful to Hon’ble Prime Minister and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra for their leadership in making this project come to life. Our prior experience of working on a similar project with mango farmers in Maharashtra gives us the confidence to say that we are now ready to make a substantial difference to the lives of orange growers in Vidarbha and other parts of Maharashtra. As the largest buyers of mango pulp in India, we are happy to be able to positively impact the lives of 400,000 farmers in India.”
Anil Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. said, “We are excited to extend our partnership with HCCBPL, now into the orange segment. It is our belief that the soil and climatic conditions in Maharashtra is conducive to grow high yield, processable varieties of oranges that can be consumed by the beverage manufacturers not just in India but across the world. We just need to handhold the farmers and guide them along the way. Perhaps one day, India could also become the world’s supplier of orange pulp, just like it is of mango pulp. I thank HCCBPL for their leadership and vision for the agri sector.”