Mumbai: INI Farms, a Mumbai-based horticulture company focused on Pomegranates and Bananas, launched India’s largest and one of its kind post-harvest Integrated Pack-house facility near Pune on August 31, 2016. The facility shall lead to improvement in quality and wastage reduction of Banana and Pomegranate. The integrated facility includes complete handling and primary processes such as cleaning sorting, grading and packaging of the produce which shall be exported across the globe.
Constructed over a record period of five months, this is India’s largest post-harvest Integrated Pack-house facility designed as per international standards and spread over 5 ½ acres and 70,000 sq. feet constructed space at Vasunde village, 80-km from Pune city. The facility will also have additional capability to manage value added fresh consumer products like pomegranate seeds (Arils) and Coconut Chunks. The pack-house is expected to employ over five hundred labour for its daily functioning, of which 70 percent shall be women. The facility is going to be active from 15th September, 2016.
Talking about the new facility, Pankaj Khandelwal, Chairman and Managing Director, INI Farms said, “The launch of the largest facility in the country dedicated to banana and pomegranate will enable us to work with farmers to meet international standards of quality products and position India as a leading player in international trade. This will allow us to capitalise the growing segment of branded fruits across the globe. Through this initiative, we have cemented our presence and reach nationally as well as globally to cater to the needs of the consumers as well as improving and enhancing farmers lives.”
The launch was attended by over 600 stakeholders including 150 farmers and their families. Also, present were customers from many countries including Netherlands, UAE and Oman who were highly impressed by the scale and quality of operations. The representatives from various government bodies such as Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), who have provided stellar support for value chain development of various horticulture commodities, were also present.
INI farms is currently working in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh along with a global presence in over 21 countries including US, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia. Earlier this month, the company in partnership with Future Group’s Future Consumer Enterprise Limited entered the Andhra Pradesh state by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh to encourage and support productivity improvement, post-harvest infrastructure, capacity building, value chain development of Banana and Pomegranate. Through this project in Andhra Pradesh, INI Farms plans to work with 12,000 local farmers to assist them by providing inputs, knowledge, technology and market access that can improve the overall quality of their produce and also fetch them good market price.
Apart from Pomegranate and Banana, the next phase of growth will include Pineapple.