Future and INI launch JV

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Luisa Cheshire

BY LUISA CHESHIRE

Future and INI launch JV

Future Retail Group and fruit grower INI Farms have launched a joint venture company to boost Indian banana and pomegranate exports

Future and INI launch JV

Future and INI Farms want to boost Indian banana and pomegranate production

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India’s Future Retail Group and Mumbai-headquartered grower-shipper INI Farms have teamed up to boost Indian pomegranate and banana production and exports, reports The Hindu Business Line.

The companies have launched 50:50 joint venture – Keyara Fresh Private Limited, which will initially operate in Andhra Pradesh (AP) under a public-private partnership with AP’s Horticulture Department, the report said.

Keyara Fresh will run a five-year ‘Integrated Agriculture Development’ project in AP, involving at least 12,000 farmers, supporting productivity increase, creation of post-harvest infrastructure, marketing and export.

The target is to improve the region’s banana yields from the average 67 tonnes/ha, to around 100 tonnes/ha in a year, the report said.

Future Group will then buy the fruit produced under the scheme and sell it across its Fresh retail chain.

The project has begun in AP’s Anantapur and Kadapa districts of Rayalseema region, and is expected to cost a total of INR1.7bn (US$25.1m). INI and Future are understood to have invested a combined total of INR600m (US$8.9m) in the venture. The balance is to be made up by the AP Horticulture Department.

If successful, the Keyara Fresh integrated agriculture development project will be replicated in other Indian districts and states where pomegranates and bananas can be grown, said Sumit Saran, head international foods, Future Retail Group.

Pankaj Khandelwal, managing director of INI Farms, told Hindu Business Line the first batch of bananas will be sourced from Anantapur and Kadapa in January for domestic and export markets. Pomegranates will come on stream in February 2017. 

Farmers under the scheme will get a premium for the better quality products in the market, Khandelwal said. In future, a processing plant for value-added banana chips is also being contemplated in the district, he added.

 

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