Taking the AP Mango Project Forward
CII National Task Force on Cold Chain Development has initiated a project titled ‘Strengthening of Post-Harvest Value Chain Management for Development of Mango Industry in Andhra Pradesh’. The project is the outcome of the many commodity specific postharvest value chain studies undertaken by the Task Force. The project aims to catalyze investments in post harvest cold infrastructure and create brand value for mangoes from Andhra Pradesh. It also aims to provide a platform for buyers and sellers to come together to chalk a way forward for sustainable production of processed mango and build the capacity of farmers and processors on new technologies and practices. Three working groups with representation from the Government and Industry have been formed for focused deliberations, and to chalk out actionable tasks and provide guidance for project implantation in areas of production, post harvest and marketing. To get feedback on the challenges and issues faced by farmers, the subgroup members had an interactive meeting with three farmer groups at Chittoor on June 20. Separate focused interviews with selected processors were held in November 2015 to get their feedback on the challenges and issues faced by them. The three working groups also had separate meetings over the past eight months to come up with activities that could be taken up under the project in areas of production, post harvest and marketing. To share feedback and align activities suggested by the three working groups, a separate meeting of all members of the working group was held on November 11. Some of the suggestions that emerged from the working group meeting were: implementation of all the best practices in two selected clusters in the state to develop them as models to be replicated in other mango growing clusters in the state, setting up of an integrated facility or stand-alone infrastructure facility depending on the need of the identified clusters and the concerned farmer groups, organising buyer-seller meet targeting both domestic and international stakeholders, and organising a mango festival to showcase all fresh and value added mango products from Andhra Pradesh. It was suggested that the mango festival could be taken to all the major cities in India and to all the major trade fairs. Members also felt the need to come up with quality standards and protocols for each of the mango varieties depending on the export destinations, and all containers of the consignment should be tested before the consignment is cleared to ensure that all quality standards are adhered to. CII, along with the core working group members, would meet Chiranjiv Choudhary, Mission Director & Commissioner of Horticulture, Andhra Pradesh in January 2017 to finalize the work plan and prepare the action document to be implemented in 2017.