25,000 farmers cultivating over 50,000 acres of land are expected to benefit from adopting the UHDP technology

Project to be scaled up over a period of 10 years to cover ‘Grove to Glass’ fruit supply chain and optimize delivery for Indian brands Maaza and Minute Maid Mango

The adoption of UHDP under Project Unnati is expected to deliver close to 300K MT fruit by the year 2022-23

Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP) is a sustainable farming practice which has been shown to more than double the average mango yields

Mumbai, May 26th, 2014: Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. (HCCBPL) and Jain Irrigation today announced plans to scale up their joint initiative Project Unnati with investments amounting to Rs. 50 Cr. over a period of 10 years.

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 25000 farmers in Phase 2 at an investment of Rs. 50 Cr. over next 10 years. The MOU was signed today by Mr. T. Krishnakumar, Chief Executive Officer, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd Mr. Anil Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd.

Speaking about the project, Mr. T. Krishnakumar, Chief Executive Officer, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. , said “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. The scale of this project enables us to confidently continue to deliver the refreshing beverages to consumers at affordable price points. Our long standing partners, Jain Irrigation, understand that partnership between business, civil society and government is the key to building a more sustainable future.”

According to Mr. Anil Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. 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, commonly practiced for mango cultivation worldwide and combined with other sustainable agricultural techniques has the potential to yield upward of 200% more produce than the traditional method. We are proud to take our partnership with HCCBPL forward towards large scale adoption of UHDP in the country. Over the next 10 years, we aim to scale up the project to cover end-to-end fruit supply chain and further optimize delivery.”

The Project, in its second phase will identify nearly– 25,000 farmers, holding an area of 50,000 acres and support them in adopting the Ultra High Density Plantation technology. 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 our 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 300KMT fruit by the year 2022-23.

Over two-thirds of the 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 agricultural practices under Project Unnati offer the basis to improve mango productivity and hence, enhance supply of mango pulp for the industry. Continuous interaction with farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) with support on farm supplements and subsidy shall motivate farmers to be engaged with this project over a long duration. Additionally, Project Unnati will also develop Farmer Loyalty programs which will continue to encourage farmer’s support to this program.

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 of the practice. The project, which is a unique partnership with farmers has established 200 demo farms. Through interventions such as “Coca-Cola University on Wheels” Bus and active outreach, nearly 4000 farmers till date have been covered. UHDP Technology embedded with drip irrigation, on-site training and farm supplement support have been successfully implemented by several farmers, which has led to first harvest of mangoes this year.

More about Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP)

Ultra High Density Plantation (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 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 earning money in the early years as UHDP orchards start commercial bearing from the 3rd 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 leads to the well-rounded growth of mango orchards with sufficient number of branches and shoots. Special care for nutrition management and pest control are also undertaken. 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.

About Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Limited

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., is the largest bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company in India. It is part of the The Coca-Cola Company’s Bottling Investment Group (BiG) and responsible for the manufacture, package, sale and distribution of beverages under the trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company.

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.