Press Release: Coca-Cola India’s Project Unnati Has Touched the Lives of 3.5 Lakh Plus Farmers Across 12 States in India
Coca-Cola India, in line with its efforts towards creating an Atmanirbhar Bharat, has announced a decade of successful implementation of its Project Unnati. The project is part of Coca-Cola’s Fruit Circular Economy initiative, which is a key pillar of the Company’s ESG priorities – Sustainable Agriculture. Project Unnati aims to support the Indian agri-ecosystem by enhancing farming efficiency, strengthening forward linkages, and building food-processing capacity in the country. In the past 10 years, Project Unnati has helped empower and enable over 350,000 lakh fruit farmers across 12 states in India. Focused on five fruit varieties Mango, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Litchi, and sugarcane, the program is aimed at propelling the horticulture supply-chain and building agriculture production capacities across the country.
The adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) through Unnati projects across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh has accelerated fruit productivity by 5X via Ultra high density fruit plantation technology. Furthermore, Coca-Cola’s ‘Meetha Sona Unnati’ program seeks to address challenges faced by small-scale sugarcane farmers, enhance their livelihoods, and promote climate-resilient sugarcane farming.
The projects also facilitate farmers’ access to enabling infrastructure via high-yielding planting material and Good Agriculture Practices (GAPS) such as ultra-high-density plantation (UHDP) which involves drip irrigation, on-site training, and farm supplement support. These new technologies lead to a substantial increase in quality, productivity, and profitability per unit of land which further makes fruit cultivation lucrative.
Rajesh Ayapilla – Director-CSR and Sustainability for India and Southwest Asia (INSWA) at The Coca-Cola Company said, “Farmers are the backbone of the Indian agrarian economy. Through project Unnati, our aim has been to elevate and enhance the livelihoods of these farmers by not only enabling them with advanced horticulture solutions, but also empowering them to substantially increase their incomes. This is a step in line with the Government of India’s vision towards AtmaNirbhar Bharat, making the agrarian economy self-reliant.”
Coca-Cola India took the first step towards creating a Fruit Circular Economy in India in 2011 with ‘Project Unnati Mango’ in Andhra Pradesh. The program then expanded to Unnati Orange in the year 2018 in Maharashtra, followed by Unnati Apple in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and eventually into Litchi and grapes over a decade. The initiative has been widely applauded by State Governments of India.
Project Unnati aims to catalyze economic growth and create new opportunities for farmers and local suppliers in India. It also creates a positive impact across sustainability focus areas, including women empowerment, community well-being, and water stewardship. The Project aims at import substitution of key horticultural commodities and envisions the potential of reverse migration of farmers to their villages to adopt agriculture as a business.
Projects launched under Project Unnati
- Unnati Mango
- Unnati Mango was launched in 2011 to realize the potential of mango farming in Chittoor district across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The program benefits farmers through Ultra-High-Density plantations, use of drip irrigation to reduce water stress, increase crop yields and overall community development.
- Jain Irrigation and International Finance Corporation (IFC) are integral partners for implementation, farmers training, impact assessment and hydrological assessment.
- Unnati Orange
- Launched in 2018, Orange Unnati is an outcome of a tripartite partnership between CCIPL, the State Government of Maharashtra, and Jain Irrigation Systems Limited. The integrated agricultural development project aims to augment the quality, productivity and profitability per unit of land used for citrus cultivation.
- Orange Unnati encourages the adoption of newer international varieties with almost 50% higher juice content than the traditional mandarin (Nagpur Santra) varieties. To create a holistic impact, the project also emphasizes on knowledge dissemination, easy availability of saplings and demonstrated impact through demo farms.
- Unnati Apple
- The project was launched in 2018, aimed at upliftment of livelihood of farmers by providing and educating them with improved and advanced agricultural techniques. This initiative was also started to support them in planting of saplings and providing the requisite infrastructure which were subsidized to the tune of 80%.
- In order to ensure well-being of farmer communities, improve yields and propagate judicious use of natural resources, Coca-Cola India partnered with Indo Dutch Horticulture Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (IDHT) as its Implementation Partner of Project Apple- Unnati in Uttarakhand.
- The Project Apple Unnati aims at increasing apple productivity in India, especially in the States of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir by bringing global best practices primarily focusing on ultra-high-density plantation (UHDP), leading to substantial increase in quality, productivity, and profitability per unit of land, hence significantly increasing farmers income. It is also acting as a catalyst to help India in achieving self-sufficiency in apple production.
- Unnati Grapes
- Launched in 2019, the integrated agricultural development project aims to augment the quality, productivity and profitability per unit of land used for cultivation.
- Implementation Partner for the project is PayAgri, NRC-Grapes, and Cendect-KVK
- The project aims at training of more than 8000 farmers across Theni and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu
- Unnati Litchi
- The program was initiated in 2019, with DeHaat, National Research Centre on Litchi (NRCL) and Kedia Fresh. The main initiative of the program is to enhance the agri-value chain efficiency as well as farmers’ capability in Litchi farming.
- The program offers training to farmers on Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) and the creation of demo orchards through appropriate technology interventions.
Photo courtesy of Marcus Linder.
- circular economy