Ramesh Naidu, a 45-year-old farmer, is a happy man. His 14-acre mango farm at Samireddypalli village, 12 km from Chittoor town in Andhra Pradesh, will yield five tonnes of mango per acre this year. Taking to ultra high density plantation (UHDP) three years ago,Naidu planted over 600 trees in an acre, compared with just 40 trees in the traditional practice, which yielded him just 1.5 tonnes of mangoes an acre.
The trees in the farm are pruned to keep them short, and intensive drip irrigation ensures they get the right amount of water, fertiliser and pesticide.
The Totapuri mangoes are, well, literally low-hanging and can be plucked standing beside the tree.
Project Unnati, a Coca-Cola and Jain Irrigation initiative is increasing productivity of the local mango crop. Jain processes the mango pulp and is the largest supplier to Coca Cola’s Maaza brand.
“This will benefit at least a lakh farmers countrywide; we are excited what it can do for the agri sector and the food processing industry,” says Venktesh Kini, VP, Coca Cola. In Chittoor alone, 10,000 farmers will be covered.
Anil Jain, Vice-Chairman and MD, Jain Irrigation, says the way forward for Indian agriculture is to adopt large scale practice of Unnati High Density Plantation.