FoodTechIndia (FTI) is a public-private initiative combining the strengths of Dutch agro-food companies, knowledge institutes, governmental agencies and their Indian counterparts to reduce food wastage in India through the establishment of an improved supply and cold chain.
India’s major challenge is to cope with the growing food consumption demand, increasing food insecurity at a fast pace. Especially considering the country has to secure the provision of food and nutrition to 1,3 billion people now, and 1,6 billion people by 2050. 18% of the country’s fruits & vegetables, worth EUR 1,8 billion, goes to waste annually. One of the key components to address this challenge is reducing agricultural food wastage along the entire value chain: approximately 40% of the country’s fruits and vegetables, worth INR 133 billion (EUR 1,8 billion), goes to waste annually.
In India, fruit & vegetable wastage is mainly due to:
• Lack of on-farm technology and training;
• Inefficient methods of harvesting, packaging and transporting;
• Gaps in the cold chain to maintain freshness and quality of produce;
• Lack of links to well-organized supply & cold chain: Indian farmers miss opportunities to market their fresh produce and increase their incomes.
The objective of the project is to reduce food wastage in India through the implementation of an integrated supply and cold chain infrastructure for fruits and vegetables in the state of Karnataka. Furthermore, the project is focused on enabling sustainable inclusive economic growth among local small scale farmers.
In order to achieve the objectives, the consortium is focused on realizing the following results:
• Enable protected cultivation by setting up 20 polyhouses.
• Provide farmers with better farming inputs such as high-quality seeds from Rijk Zwaan
• Train the farmers best agronomy practices and reduce the chemical usages.
• Develop train-the-trainer programs, train 10.000 farmers and demonstrate best practices to them.
• Provide crates to pack the fruits and vegetables at farm level to reduce food losses or wastage.
• Build /upgrade collection points /Dc’s near the farmers.
• Operate reefer trucks to retain freshness of the produce by Broekman Logistics.
• Create added value to products by sorting, processing and packaging of the fruits & vegetables.
• Provide farmers direct market linkages through the retail channels of Future Group.
• Support with marketing of the products and utilize new sales channels.
In support of the project, a demonstration polyhouse is built by Future Group at the Foodpark in Tumkur to showcase to the farmers as well as other key stakeholders, the future of greenhouse farming with innovative Dutch technology.
The consortium initiated and coordinated by Larive contains the following sector experts jointly reducing food wastage:
• Broekman Logistics: Leading provider of logistic services globally with core business in international freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution.
• Future Consumer Limited: Leading retailer with multiple retail formats spread over India. Future Group is engaged in sourcing, branding, marketing and distribution of FMCG, food and processed food products in urban and rural India.
• Rijk Zwaan: One of the top 5 vegetable breeding company with the focus on the development of high-quality vegetable varieties.
• TNO: Independent applied knowledge institute whose expertise will contribute to cold storage and cold logistics solutions
• Larive International: A business development advisory firm specialized in assisting companies in developing and implementing their market entry or expansion strategies in(to) high-growth markets.
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands: The consortium is in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to jointly execute the project successfully.
The strength of the consortium lies in its integral approach (‘chain approach’) toward fruits & vegetables cultivation, harvesting, logistics, storage, cooling, processing, packaging and distribution to the consumer.