INI Farms, India’s leading horticulture firm has entered into one-of-a-kind joint venture with Munger Farms, world’s largest independent blueberry grower from USA, to create a global-value-chain for blueberries in India. This partnership aims to promote the cultivation of blueberries in the country, enhancing both the consumption of this exotic fruit as well as boosting India’s export basket of fresh fruits.
To make blueberries more accessible to the Indian consumers, this partnership will focus on setting up multiple production facilities of berries across the country, starting with Maharashtra, by utilizing world-class varieties and advanced production technologies. These production facilities will also act as R&D facilities and farmer training centres. The initial investment would focus on developing supply chains and demonstration plots which will further help in identifying the varieties of blueberries that will be best suited for the country, creating customized practices as well as training modules for farmers. Moreover, subsequent investments would focus on developing supply chain and farm level expansions.
Besides production in India, the partnership would source these products from across the world depending on seasonality, quality and prices to serve consumers in the Middle East, India and South East Asia. The partnership includes value added products like dried berries, juices and concentrates (used extensively in shakes etc.) to optimise the processing grade production from farms catering to the institutional and retail requirements.
The strength of The Munger Companies in North America shall be leveraged to distribute Indian pomegranate, arils and pomegranate juice in USA. The JV shall also partner with Indian farmers to grow the products as per USA market requirements. INI already works with thousands of farmers directly and partnering with retailers in Europe, Middle East, India and South East Asia. This partnership would open up the USA – the world’s largest pomegranate market outside of India.
Commenting on this announcement, Mr. Pankaj Khandelwal, Chairman and Managing Director, INI Farms said, “There is an increased uptake of blueberries in India and Middle East primarily due to health benefits. With this partnership, we are aiming to further expand the market potential of this fruit, make it readily available and easily accessible to the Indian consumers as well as contribute to India’s export of fresh fruits. We will contribute in a meaningful manner to the twin objectives of doubling farmer income and high growth of India’s horticulture products as envisaged in the agri-export policy.”
Mr. David Munger, Owner and Director, Munger Farms said, “The Indian market holds great potential for blueberries consumption due to increased consumer awareness. We are proud to partner with a leading player like INI Farms to foster this growing industry. The INI-Munger Joint venture is a win-win partnership for both the farmers and the consumers, which will provide high quality super-healthy fruits by developing a global value chain in India.”
In 1966, led by Mr. Lajpat Munger, the Munger family migrated from a small village in Northern India to the USA and settled into a farming community in California, where all the family members became field laborers in order to make ends meet. After many years of hard, honest work, the family purchased their first 70-acre (28.3 hectares) plot of farmland, and, thus, The Munger Companies originated. In 1988, Mr. Munger retired and turned his focus to philanthropy projects back home in India, which included re-construction of the K-12 school he attended as a child, building a charitable hospital to provide free healthcare for those in need and he also re-constructed a Hindu Temple to provide guidance and inspiration for future generations. In his name and honour, the Munger family continues to support these important charitable undertakings. At the same time, Mr. Munger turned the USA farming operations over to two of his sons, Baldev and Kewel Munger. Today, The Munger Companies is made up of second and third generation family members and they have grown the operations into a fully integrated family farming, processing and marketing company. The farmland holdings are across the USA states for California, Oregon and Washington, encompassing over some 12,000 acres (4,856.2 hectares) of crops that include blueberries, pistachios, almonds, olives, hazelnuts and wine grapes. All of this success…while maintaining core values of integrity, respect, loyalty, responsibility, gratitude and passion.
About INI Farms
INI Farms is an integrated value chain company working with over 2000 farmers and exports in over 28 countries. INI Farms has become a leader in pomegranate and banana exports from India. Kimaye bananas and pomegranates are also available with Indian retailers in all major metros. Founded by Pankaj and Purnima Khandelwal, it is a venture funded company with Unilazer (Ronnie Screwvala), Aavishkaar and Aspada in its investor group along with Ashish Gupta and Pavan Vaish as angel investors. INI Farms has subsidiaries in Dubai, Netherlands and a joint venture with Future group called Keyara. INI ensures that all farming practices achieve world standards on food safety and helps farmer achieve better returns through superior quality products.
Purnima Khandelwal, Chief Executive Officer INI Farms, ,+91-9820007808