The Indian consumer has made his choice clear for the favourite mango drink. Maaza, introduced in the 1970s, is set to become the world's first juice brand to clock $1 billion in revenues.

While consumers have loved the mango drink, innovation in crop plantation by farmers, among others, has been one of the key reasons for the success that Maaza has achieved. Sinceits introduction to India, the brand has consideredthe farmer community an integralpart of its journey. When Coca-Cola launched Project Unnati to help farmers double the mango yields per hectare of cultivation, it was readily adopted by them because it helped cut down the time it took to monetise the output.

Research showed that due tothepoor utilisation of output, farmersfacedseveral challenges like low income, inability to adopt modern methods of cultivation etc.Having identified the core issues thatfarmershave been facing, Coca-Colaled the ‘Ultra High Density Plantation’ or UHDP initiative which was aimed atboosting mango cultivation by doubling the mango yields per hectare. In order to help themango farmers boost yield, Coca-Cola India teamed up with Jain Irrigationfor ‘Project Unnati.’

Unnati was aimed at a large scale adoption of Ultra High Density Plantation (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 has been focused on creating an ecosystem that delivers higher growth and income for farmers and the ‘Grove to Glass’ fruit supply chain, for optimising delivery.

During the research for the project, it was found that usually mango trees areplantedat a decentdistance from each other on the fieldto ensure the availability ofadequate sunlight, soil nutrients and water for the trees’ growth. However, under the guidance of UHDP experts, more trees were planted in the same area. Since trees tend to produce fruit faster when they sense a lack of resources for survival, the time taken for themto bear fruitwas reduced considerably. As a result, this reduced space sped up the cycle of bearing fruits, thus leading to a richer yield.

There was a time when despite being one of the largest mango producing countries in the world, India was able to process only 2% of its total produce, according to the KLS Institute of Management Education and Research.And now, the transformation was clearly visible.The farmers had managed to increase the productivity by a whopping 200%.

By enabling and assisting farmers to increase the crop yield and complete the pulp production process themselves, Coca-Cola helps them earn an even bigger share of the leading fruit crop that is farmed in India. The project also has the potential of improving the livelihoods of more than 50,000 farmers over its 5-year span, thus making a huge impact on their income.

The initiative can evenbring about a transformationin the value chain in a way that also meets the needs of consumers in the coming years. Farms under Project Unnati will also be used to showcase
and train farmers on Ultra High Density Plantation under a joint capability building program led by Jain Irrigation and Coca-Cola University.