As reported in the March-April 2016 issue of Cold Chain, 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 post-harvest value chain studies initiated by the Task Force. It aims to catalyze investments in postharvest infrastructure development 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 capacity of farmers and processors on new technologies and practices. The project was launched in November 2015. The project launch workshop was presided over by Chiranjiv Choudhary, Mission Director & Commissioner of Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh. As a result of suggestions from the workshop, three working groups with representation from the Government and Industry were formed in February 2016 for focused deliberations and to chalk out actionable tasks to be implemented under the project. The working groups were on production, post harvest and marketing. Details on the project conceptualization and outcome of the project launch workshop have been published in the May 27, 2016 news edition1. The working group members have had several individual and combined meetings over the past one year. Details of the working group meetings have been published in the February 17, 2017 news edition2. To understand the challenges faced by farmers the working group members had an interactive meeting with three Farmer Organisations on June 21, 2016. Details of the meeting with these Organisations have been published in the October 3, 2016 news edition3. A working group meeting of the three sub-groups was held on November 11, 2016 at Vijayawada. During the meeting, members felt the need to identify a mango cluster and showcase all best practices to create a model cluster. Schemes and benefits available under the Centre and State Government were suggested to be implemented in the selected cluster. An FPO named Citizen’s Welfare Society has been selected for implementing interventions suggested under the project. The one year old FPO is located in Bhimavaram village, Valavapadu mandal, Prakasham District. The FPO comprises of 100 mango farmers. The major mango varieties grown by the farmers in order of abundance are Banganapalli, Totapuri and other varieties. An interactive meeting with Citizen’s Welfare Society and the Working Group members was organised by CII FACE on March 2, 2017. Approximately 90 farmers attended the meeting. Representatives from the Horticulture Department, Dr. YSR Horticultural University and International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) attended the meeting. From the private sector there were representatives from Danfoss Industries, Blue Star Ltd., ITC Ltd., PepsiCo, Galla Foods, and Bayer Crop Sciences.
Some of the suggestions that emerged from the interactive meeting with the FPO on March 2 were:
• Conduct training for the FPO on good agriculture practices, crop management practices, usage and schedule of application of pesticides and insecticides, and awareness on banned pesticides.
• Promote drip irrigation or create farm ponds based on the soil moisture report of the area.
• Conduct training on right stage of harvesting, and usage of harvesting tools to minimise fruit damage during harvesting.
• Create an integrated centre for cleaning, grading, packaging, storage, ripening, plant quarantine, etc.
• Training on different mango value added products.
• Organise buyer-seller meet to promote mango marketing.
• Branding of mangoes from the region.
A working group meeting is planned in the third week of March 2017 to deliberate on the work plan, which would form the basis of implementation of the activities suggested during the meeting with the Citizen’s Welfare Society.