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INI Farms launches integrated pack-house facility in Vasunde near Pune
Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Mumbai-based horticultural company INI Farms, which focuses on pomegranates and bananas, has launched India’s largest post-harvest integrated pack-house facility at Vasunde village, 80km from Pune.

Spread over five-and-a-half acres and a constructed space of 70,000sq ft, the facility, which took five months to construct, will lead to improvement in quality and wastage reduction of the two fruits.

The facility includes complete handling and primary processes such as cleaning, sorting, grading and packaging of the produce, which shall be exported across the globe.

It 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 500 labour for its daily functioning. Of these 70 per cent will be women. The facility will become active from September 15, 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 on 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 improve and enhance farmers’ lives,” he said.

The launch was attended by over 600 stakeholders, including 150 farmers and their families. Also present were customers from many countries, including the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, who were highly impressed by the scale and quality of operations.

Representatives from various government bodies, such as the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), who have provided stellar support fro value chain development of various horticulture commodities were also present.

INI Farms is currently working in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Moreover, it has a presence in over 21 countries including the United States, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia.

Earlier this month, the company, in partnership with Future Group’s Future Consumer Enterprise Limited, entered Andhra Pradesh by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state horticulture department to encourage and support productivity improvement, post-harvest infrastructure, capacity building and 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 a good market price.

Apart from pomegranate and banana, the next phase of growth will include pineapple.
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