An initiative to boost mango yield through Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) technique

Over 25,000 farmers to be enrolled in Project Unnati

Hindustan Coca-Cola and JISL to invest Rs. 50 crore towards Unnati by 2024

Jain Irrigation Systems Limited (JISL) and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. (HCCBPL) have joined hands through Project Unnati to help farmers adopt Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) technique to boost mango yield. Over 25,000 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka would be enrolled in project Unnati to adopt Ultra High Density Mango Plantation (UHDP) technique, which will help boost mango yields. HCCBPL & JISL will be investing Rs. 50 crores into project Unnati by 2024.

Jain Irrigation Systems Limited (JISL), the largest manufacturer of irrigation systems worldwide and a leading processor of fruits and vegetables and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCCBPL) – one of the largest manufacturer and distributors of juice, juice drinks, sparkling soft drinks and packaged water, are helping farmers adopt UHDP technology.

India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes, but the average yield per hectare of mangoes in India is one of the lowest in the world – even behind countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. The mango productivity in India is estimated at 6 metric tonnes per hectare while that of Brazil is 16 metric tonnes per hectare. Ultra High Density Plantation is a proven technology, commonly practiced for mango cultivation worldwide and combined with other sustainable agricultural techniques, has the potential to yield upwards of 200% more produce than that by the traditional method. Project Unnati is aimed at a large scale adoption of UHDP in the country and aims to scale up the project to cover end-to-end fruit supply chain and further optimize delivery. The project to be scaled up over a period of 10 years, isaimed at creating an ecosystem that delivers higher growth and income for farmers and ‘Grove to Glass’ fruit supply chain and optimizingdelivery for Indian brands Maaza and Minute Maid Mango. Project Unnati alone is expected to deliver close to 240KMT fruit by year 2023 – 24.

The program will use specialized buses with in-built classrooms to provide training at farmer’s doorstep regarding UHDP techniques in mango farming which can help farmers double their mango yields and thus significantly improve their livelihood. The project has an investment outlay of more than Rs. 50 crores, shared equally between HCCBPL and Jain Irrigation.

About Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP)

Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) technique enables plantation of nearly 600 trees in an acre, against the conventional method of planting 40 to 70 trees. In traditional mango cultivation, trees are allowed to grow as high as possible; they are pruned minimally or not at all. In UHDP, canopy is maintained in such a way as to attain maximum light interception and canopy volume per unit area in early years of plantation. This leads to the orchard attaining full potential in 3-4 years.The gestation period in UHDP is less, and the farmer starts getting returns in the early years, as UHDP orchards start commercial bearing from the 3rd to 4th year onwards against the 7 to 9 years required in traditional planting.

This innovative technique has been standardized and commercialized by Jain Irrigation at its R&D farm at Udmalpet, Tamil Nadu where currently 100 acres is under Ultra-High Density Plantation.

The technique further utilizes drip irrigation, offering twin benefits to the farmers by improving yield/acre and simultaneously decreasing the quantity of water used per kilo of mango produced.

This process requires mango grafts of commercial varieties planted close to each other. Special techniques of pruning, fertigation, irrigation and growth promotion lead to the well-rounded growth of mango orchards with sufficient number of branches and shoots. Special care for nutrition management and pest control is also undertaken in the project. Together, these modern techniques are expected to enhance the produce by as high as 200% compared to traditional plantation methods. Ultra High Density Plantation is a viable solution and can be undertaken in all regions where mangoes are grown traditionally.

During phase 1 of Project ‘Unnati’, which was launched in 2011 with an investment of $2 million, partners worked towards highlighting the need of UHDP technology and in assisting early adoption of the practice. The project, which is a unique partnership with farmers have established 200 demo farms. Through interventions such as “Coca-Cola University on Wheels” Bus and trained nearly 18000 farmers till date. UHDP Technology embedded with drip irrigation & fertigation, on-site training and farm supplement support have been successfully implemented by several farmers, which have led to first harvest of mangoes this year.

The Project, in its second phase will identify nearly 25,000 farmers, holding an area of 25,000 acres and support them in adopting the Ultra High Density Plantation technology over the period of 10 years. The selected farmers will be provided assistance for using this technology during the duration of the project. While Unnati Phase 1 has successfully trained farmers on UHDP Technology and encouraged them to adapt to the new technology, Unnati Phase 2 is built around building deeper relationship and engagements with farmers. The objective is to harness the higher productivity potential of mango farms to business by Jain Irrigation offering all UHDP implementing farmers and an option of buying back the fruits cultivated. The scaled up initiative is expected to deliver close to 240KMT fruit by the year 2023-24.

About Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Limited

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCBPL) is the largest bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) in India. TCCC is the world’s largest beverage company. HCCBPL has nationwide presence having 25 bottling plants across the Country. More details about the company can be found on www.hindustancoca-cola.com.

About Jain Irrigation

Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL), headquartered in India, is the largest manufacturer of irrigation systems worldwide and a leading processor of fruits and vegetables – including the world’s largest producer of pureed mangos and the third-largest producer of dehydrated onions. Over the years, JISL has expanded its food processing business to include banana, guava, pomegranate, aonlas, papaya and tomato. The company has establishments in India, Middle East, Europe and the USA. Within India, JISL is the largest provider of micro-irrigation systems (MIS) – with a 55% share of the drip irrigation market and a 35% share of the sprinkler market. Centered on agriculture, JISL’s business model makes a full circle through the entire value chain. The company provides farmers with the means to produce more and better crops through its MIS, seeds, and other inputs and then purchases fruits and vegetables through its food processing division, which processes them and sells them to export and domestic markets. In this way, Jain’s inclusive business reaches farmers both as consumers of its MIS products and other inputs and as suppliers of fruits and vegetables for its food processing operations.

For further information, contact, Mr. Kalyan Ranjan, karanjan@coca-cola.in; Mr. Satyan Bhatt, satyanbhatt@prism-india.com