Lawrencedale Agro Processing, a fresh produce supply chain company, has entered into an agreement with Andhra Pradesh for the development of horticulture crops.

This agreement is part of the AP government’s pivotal Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) Policy for the Integrated Horticulture Development (IHD) Programme.

The programme is to be implemented in the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu kicked off the programme in Ananthapuram, a horticulture hub, on Saturday.

He urged all the stakeholders to work for the benefit of the farmers.

“The government of Andhra Pradesh is committed to the development of the farmers and the launch of this PPP-IHD programme is a key step to fulfilling that goal. We will provide support to the farmers and to private players who work for the benefit of the farmers. The formation of the Farmer Producer Organisation, wherein the government, farmers and private sector work cohesively for the benefit of farmers, is a landmark development,” he said.

The agreement was signed by Chiranjiv Choudhary, State Commissioner of Horticulture and Sericulture, Andhra Pradesh, and Palat Vijayaraghavan, Founder & CEO, Lawrencedale Agro Processing.

Choudhary, in a statement, said: "Along with private participation, we will facilitate productivity improvement, post-harvest infrastructure, capacity building and development of horticulture. Many private players in the fresh produce supply chain and expertise in post-harvest management will be of good support to the farmers.”

“We are committed to appropriate interventions for productivity enhancement and value chain development for horticulture crops. With our experience in handling more than 7,000 tonnes of fresh produce annually, we will work closely with Farmer Producer Organisations to improve the quality of the harvest, thereby enabling better realisation for the farmers,” Palat Vijayaraghavan said.

The AP Horticulture Department will facilitate Lawrencedale Agro in establishing infrastructure for value chain development and provide necessary assistance under ongoing department programmes/ schemes.

Such participation may include providing advisory services, setting up post-harvest facilities, infrastructure development, R&D, implementation support and related aspects for the development of horticulture.

Lawrencedale Agro’s community farming initiative engages with more than 3,000 small land-hold farmers and assures them of them of the best forward market linkages by avoiding multi-layers of intermediaries.