Agri Business

Future Group, INI Farms tie up to boost banana, pomegranate output

M SOMASEKHAR Hyderabad | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 14, 2016

BANANA_2

Future Retail Group and INI Farms have formed a Joint Venture to boost the production and export of pomegranates and bananas in three districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The JV firm, Keyara Fresh Private Limited will partner the Horticulture Department of the AP government under a public-private partnership. The five-year project launched recently will see an investment of ₹170 crore and involvement of at least 12,000 farmers.

Pankaj Khandelwal, Managing Director of INI Farms, a Mumbai-based horticulture company, said the project has begun in Anantapur and Kadapa districts of Rayalseema region, where the two fruits are grown and conditions are suitable.

Of the Rs 170 crore, the JV partners will put Rs 30 cr each, Rs 65 cr by AP Govt. and balance of Rs 45 cr by the farmers over 5 years. The project will be extended to East Godavari soon. The focus of the Integrated Agriculture Development project will be to help farmers in supporting productivity increase, creation of post-harvest infrastructure, marketing and export.

The target is to improve yields of bananas from the average 67 tonnes/ha to around 100 tonnes/ha in a year. This would be through overall management and good agriculture practises. In Gujarat and Maharashtra efforts in this direction are showing good results, he told BusinessLine.

The Future Consumer Enterprise of the Future Group will not just invest, but also buy back the produce, which would be better quality and sell it across its Fresh retail chain.

Once, the pilot project succeeds it will be replicated in other districts as well as other States, where pomegranates and bananas can be grown, said Sumit Saran, Head International Foods.

The first batch of export containers and domestic markets are expected to be sourced from the two districts for banana in January and pomegranates in February 2017. The State government has helped in getting 200 farmers join and kick start the project.

The farmers would get a premium for the better quality products in the market. In future a processing plant for the value added banana chips is also contemplated in the district, he said.

The fruits will be the nature tissue culture based and not hybrids.

Published on November 14, 2016

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