“Ultra High Definition” a phrase, I had only associated with televisions or video formats, but then I came across Ultra High Definition Farming, what is that ? Is it some really high tech faming method ? Is it one of those out of world, research topics ? I got my answers on my trip to Chitoor, birth place of Tipu Sultan.
Some time ago, I got a wonderful opportunity to travel with (then) Coca Cola India President, Mr. Venkatesh Kini and his team to the farms that grow Maaza mangoes. Thanks to the team at Coca Cola India for the invitation to be a part of Maaza’s 40 year celebration.
On the road trip to the farms, I had a wonderful experience learning about nuances of business, health topics, various misconceptions and more importantly life in general. I guess I am going to steal a line from Mr. Kini’s plethora of
sayings : “ Everything is either food, medicine or poison, depends on dosage.” Can’t be more accurate than that.
Being a Punjabi, farming is somewhere encoded in my genes, reaching the farms and seeing trees laden with mangoes, was a sight and a half. The sight made me think what am I doing in front of computers, I should be out there amongst the mangoes.
Coming to UHDP (Ultra High Density Plantation) its as simple as getting maximum sunlight to as many leaves as possible and maximise photosynthesis ( Now all those who paid attention in biology class would know what I am talking about). Simple techniques which are subsidised by the government, if employed can give famers very healthy returns. This coupled with long term yield acquiring arrangements made by likes of Coca Cola, makes it a win-win situation. Meeting the famers who are adapting to the new techniques and making farming profitable was a treat. The happiness on their faces was quite evident.
Post the farms I also got the opportunity to visit one of the mango processing plants owned by Jain Irrigations, world’s largest drip irrigation company. At this plant, selected mangoes from the entire region are brought and pure pulp without any additives is extracted. It was impressive to see the entire process and the kind of quality checks that pulp goes through before it is shipped to Coca Cola bottling plants to form an integral part of Maaza.
The need is to try and build a knowledge delivery ecosystem, which will enable famers, get information and on ground help to imbibe these techniques and get right returns for the hard work they put in their fields. Knowledge and assistance can go a long way in ensuring our famers are left with more choices with them than just suicides.
Maninder Singh Bajwa, is the CEO & Founder of Espranza Innovations and also an active member of Global Shapers Hub Chandigarh.