Bayer CropScience Limited presented its Food Chain Partnership with Mother Dairy Fruits and Vegetables Private Ltd. at the Asia Fruit Logistica 2012 held in Hong Kong from September 05-07. The partnership commenced in 2011, with an aim to produce high-quality tomatoes and gherkins that would meet the requirements of Mother Dairy.
In India, tomatoes are mainly grown for the table purpose, whereas to make tomato paste, food manufacturers need good quality processing grades. Bayer CropScience identified tomato varieties suitable for processing and scientifically raised seedlings of the shortlisted varieties. These were then provided to farmers for further cultivation under supervision and technical know-how of Bayer CropScience and Mother Dairy. The second project involved introduction of new technologies to improve gherkin production under polyhouse, since the yield levels for gherkins under open field conditions were very low.
Both projects were initiated in Karnataka with around 900 tomato and gherkin farmers. Bayer CropScience supported farmers with their professional "5P" process from seed to harvest, with high quality seeds (Production process), to right crop protection products required for pest and disease management in respective crops (Protection). This was supplemented with an instruction manual and safety equipment, to ensure safe use and handling of crop protection products and awareness of spraying techniques (Program monitoring). A traceability tool (Passport) was developed and implemented. This was followed by training on best grading practices to ensure quality from the farm to the processing center (Post harvest).
Bayer CropScience and Mother Dairy’s collaborative crop development program resulted in high quality production of gherkins and tomatoes as well as higher returns for partner farmers. Yield in tomatoes grew from 14 metric tons per acre to 18 metric tons. In Gherkins, yields grew from 4 metric tons to 14 metric tons per acre.
Bayer CropScience and Mother Dairy are convinced that Food Chain Partnership is an effective way of supporting farmers by improving the productivity and the quality of produce in a safe and sustainable manner. Encouraged by the success of the first pilot projects, both companies now plan to expand Food Chain Partnership to cover more fruits and vegetables like Banana, Mango and Cauliflower.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 7.255 billion (2011) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 21,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries.