Chandigarh, Feb 6 (UNI) PepsiCo, the world leader in convenience foods and beverages has started processing Kinnows at their Hoshiarpur plant in Punjab.
PepsiCo had recently signed an MoU with Punjab Agro Juices Ltd (PAJL) for operating the multi-fruit processing facility set up by PAJL at Hoshiarpur in August last year.
The Company has initiated the procurement process by approaching Kinnow farmers and explaining their requirements and the process involved.
The state-of-the-art, 400 MTs per day, capacity plant, has been set up by the Punjab Government to provide available and alternative market channel to the Kinnow growers and farmers cultivating other horticultural crops. The MoU was signed to protect the farmers against fluctuating market prices and thus assuring them of timely payment from PepsiCo.
Commenting on the processing of the kinnows at the Hoshiarpur plant, Dr Sushil Sankhiyan, GM, Agri Business, PepsiCo India said here today that the company started operating the factory from second week of January and will go on till end of March. PepsiCo plans to produce Kinnow concentrate during February-March which will be used in Tropicana range of juices.
For this purpose, PepsiCo intends to purchase around 6000 mt of mature Kinnow fruit, mostly from small to medium farmers.
" We have initiated the procurement process and are approaching the farmers and explaining them on the requirements in terms of sweetness and maturity through handouts and pamphlets" Dr Sankhiyan said while talking to mediapersons.
PepsiCo will be processing Kinnow in the Hoshiarpur plant till March end and then will be processing tomatoes and other horticultural crops as per the season, he added. The facility has equipments or machinery to process Kinnow, Tomatoes, Mangoes and other fruits.
The plant and machinery has been imported from Italy.
Punjab is the largest producer of Kinnow in India and the fruit is fast emerging as one of the main alternate crops for the states farmers leading to higher yield and better income for the farmers. Citrus cultivation is also helping the farmers to shift from traditional wheat paddy rotation and leading to diversification of agriculture.
Approximately 21,000 hectars of land is currently under Kinnow plantation in Punjab.
PepsiCo entered India in 1989 and has grown to become the country's largest selling food and beverage companies. The group has built an expansive beverage, snack food and exports business and to support the operations are the group's 37 bottling plants in India, of which 16 are company owned and 21 are franchisee owned.
In addition to this, PepsiCo's Frito Lay snack division has 3 state of the art plants.
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