Growing apple-red smiles

Technology-driven farm-to-market ecosystem has turned a growing community of more than 17000, apple growers in Himachal Pradesh happier and empowered than ever before.

Narveer Thakur, an apple grower in the northern hilly state of Himachal Pradesh in India says that he is good at nothing but growing crunchy-juicy-sweet apples. That is largely what he has learnt and done all his life. The occupation which involves incredible hard work and struggles against unforeseen adversities, however has begun yielding sweeter returns than he ever expected. Today children from his family and community are able to decide what they want to study with some of them perusing education aboard. While the community was always self-sufficient, a critical course correction in the way they conducted business has transformed lives beyond expectations.

Inclusive Growth | Narveer Thakur | Adani Farm-Pik

This happened since Adani Agri Fresh Limited, India’s largest integrated apple supply chain initiative with ultra-modern storage infrastructure forayed into the valley. Until then, apple growers irrespective of the quality of their produce were heavily dependent on unorganised Mandi’s and middlemen who controlled the market price and often gave a raw deal to farmers. On many occasions, farmers like Thakur would get stuck in long-winding legal battles to bring home their hard earned money. But things began to change since 2006 with a reputed brand like Adani Farm Pik engaging directly with the farming community.

“Both my son and daughter are graduates in two diverse walks. We want to send our grandson to Auckland for this higher studies. The fact that we are able to plan his future in a desired way is the biggest difference in our lives today,” said Thakur adding that this was possible courtesy Adani Agri Fresh initiatives.

Adani Agri Fresh Limited has created state-of-the-art Controlled Atmosphere (CA) facilities of 22636 MT capacity in the apple growing belts of Shimla district in HP. The CA facilities are located at Bithal (near Rampur), Sainj (near Theog) and Mehandli (Rohru). The company has created these CA facilities with fully automated sorting, grading & packing lines along with refrigerated vans to maintain the cold chain from CA store to market. The growers have an easy access to these facilities and thereby reduce significant post-harvest losses. What began as a small intervention to build India from its roots has today grown into a massive movement empowering more than 17000 small and marginal apple farmers.

As a part of the Adani Agri Fresh’s farm-to-market infrastructure, the teams work with farmers from the pre-harvest season till the finish goods are delivered to the last mile. This includes high quality crop care inputs by a panel of renowned scientists, field level training, growers’ meet to impart knowledge, harvesting, soil testing etc.

Today apples produced by humble and hardworking people like Narveer Thakur reach millions of homes across more than 50 Indian cities.