INI Farms, India's leading horticulture firm has entered into one-of-a-kind joint venture with Munger Farms, world's largest independent blueberry grower from the USA, to create a global-value-chain for blueberries in India. This partnership aims to promote the cultivation of blueberries in the country, enhancing both the consumption of this exotic fruit as well as boosting India's export basket of fresh fruits.
To make blueberries more accessible to the Indian consumers, this partnership will focus on setting up multiple production facilities of berries across the country, starting with Maharashtra, by utilizing world-class varieties and advanced production technologies. These production facilities will also act as R&D facilities and farmer training centers. The initial investment would focus on developing supply chains and demonstration plots which will further help in identifying the varieties of blueberries that will be best suited for the country, creating customized practices as well as training modules for farmers. Moreover, subsequent investments would focus on developing supply chain and farm level expansions.
Besides production in India, the partnership would source these products from across the world depending on seasonality, quality and prices to serve consumers in the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia. The partnership includes value-added products like dried berries, juices and concentrates (used extensively in shakes, etc.) to optimize the processing grade production from farms catering to the institutional and retail requirements.
The strength of The Munger Companies in North America shall be leveraged to distribute Indian pomegranate, arils and pomegranate juice in the USA. The JV shall also partner with Indian farmers to grow the products as per USA market requirements. INI already works with thousands of farmers directly and partnering with retailers in Europe, Middle East, India and South East Asia. This partnership would open up the USA - the world's largest pomegranate market outside of India.
Commenting on this announcement, Mr. Pankaj Khandelwal, Chairman, and Managing Director, INI Farms said, "There is an increased uptake of blueberries in India and the Middle East primarily due to health benefits. With this partnership, we are aiming to further expand the market potential of this fruit, make it readily available and easily accessible to the Indian consumers as well as contribute to India's export of fresh fruits. We will contribute in a meaningful manner to the twin objectives of doubling farmer income and high growth of India's horticulture products as envisaged in the agri-export policy."
Mr. David Munger, Owner, and Director, Munger Farms said, "The Indian market holds great potential for blueberries consumption due to increased consumer awareness. We are proud to partner with a leading player like INI Farms to foster this growing industry. The INI-Munger Joint venture is a win-win partnership for both the farmers and the consumers, which will provide high-quality super-healthy fruits by developing a global value chain in India."
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