Sustainable sourcing of certified MRL-compliant mangoes benefits farmers and fruit processors
What was the market situation?
India is the world’s biggest mango producer, accounting for around 45 % of global production. Although most mangoes grown in India are consumed domestically and less than 5 % are processed, India is also a major exporter of fresh and processed mangoes. Over one million metric tons of mango pulp worth US$94 million were exported in the 2018 – 19 season. Mango pulp is converted into juice, nectar, other beverages, and jam. India’s main centers of mango processing, with some 65 processing units, are Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu.
Foods & Inns Ltd., a multi-locational manufacturer and exporter of a range of processed tropical fruit pulps, purees and vegetables, sources premium fruit and vegetable varieties from the Ratnagiri, Valsad, Mysore and Chittoor regions, and operates state-of-the-art factories in Mumbai, Chittoor, Valsad, Sinnar, and Gonde (Nasik).
Devdut Dalal, Business Development & Sustainability Lead at Foods & Inns Ltd., India; Pankaj K Sharma, Head of Food Chain, Bayer Crop Science
What was the solution?
Bayer developed a customized plant protection schedule to control the above-mentioned insects and diseases. This was complemented with integrated pest management (IPM) methods to ensure mango production complied with the strict export requirements. Customized plant protection kits with a neem-based oil and pheromone traps were supplied to the participating farmers along with personal protection equipment.
During the 2018 – 19 crop season, this Food Chain Partnership project was initiated with 195 farmers in seven villages in the Chittoor region. 160 plant protection IPM kits were supplied to the project farmers and seven BayG.A.P. training programs conducted for their benefit. This training covered key topics, such as IPM, the safe use of plant protection products, food safety, waste and pollution management, environmental preservation, traceability, and documentation. The Bayer Passport, a record management, documentation and traceability tool, was implemented at farmer level in order to ensure the necessary produce traceability. The latter was particularly important in strengthening the project’s sustainability aspects and in helping to achieve Sustainable Agriculture Initiative certification.