Future Retail Group and INI Farms have formed a Joint Venture to boost the production and export of pomegranates and bananas.
The target is to improve yields of bananas from the average 67 tonnes/ha to around 100 tonnes/ha in a year. This would be through overall management and good agriculture practices. In Gujarat and Maharashtra efforts in this direction are showing good results, Pankaj Khandelwal, Managing Director of INI Farms, told BusinessLine.
The Future Group will not just invest, but also buy back the produce, which would be better quality, and sell it across its Fresh retail chain.
Once, the pilot project succeeds it will be replicated in other districts as well as other States, where pomegranates and bananas can be grown, said Sumit Saran, Head of International Foods.
The first batch of export containers for domestic markets are expected to be sourced from the two districts, for banana in January and pomegranate in February 2017. The State government has helped in getting 200 farmers join and kick start the project.
The farmers would get a premium for the better quality products in the market. In future a processing plant for the value added banana chips is also contemplated in the district, he said.