· MoU entails grant from FieldFresh Foods to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to conduct the three-year Research Programme
· Programme to boost corn / baby corn productivity in the country besides strengthening small farmer income in corn growing regions
· Field trials to be conducted at FieldFresh’s Agri Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Ludhiana (Punjab)
New Delhi, October 12, 2016: FieldFresh Foods, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises & Del Monte Pacific Limited and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) to carry out Corn Productivity Research Programme. The MoU follows the agreement signed recently between Cambridge University and Bharti Foundation to fund the research Programme. The MoU was signed by Yogesh Bellani, CEO, FieldFresh Foods and Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University.
The collaborative research will examine the relationship between the genetic make-up, environmental factors and crop management of corn in order to develop a production system that is more resilient and helps reduce production costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
On the occasion, Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said, “Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58 per cent of India’s population and investment in crop research would greatly benefit India farmers. This partnership with Punjab Agricultural University reiterates our commitment to promote agriculture to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.”
The three-year programme, to be funded by FieldFresh, will aim at enhancing corn crop yield and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the project, FieldFresh will also fund a Post-Doctoral Fellowship to conduct field trials at FieldFresh’s Agri Centre of Excellence (ACE) in Ladhowal (Ludhiana), Punjab, where the company is currently running various crop management trials and partners with farmers to improve overall crop economics. The Post-Doctoral Fellow will work under the mentorship of PAU Scientists.
Speaking on the partnership, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, said, “The research programme aims to improve effectiveness of technology used in agriculture to increase productivity, and improve farmer wellbeing by providing better income prospects. We are thankful to FieldFresh Foods for partnering with us in this endeavor and appreciate their passion and commitment in the field of agriculture
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Yogesh Bellani, CEO, FieldFresh Foods, said, “We are committed to strengthen our commitment to enhance productivity both in terms of quantity and quality. The partnership will allow us to work in collaboration with a premier institute towards achieving the larger cause of sustainable agriculture in the country.”
The research findings of the project will be further translated into guidance for small farmers in India to promote sustainability, financial stability and to eradicate food shortages. Additionally, the research outcomes will be shared with other stakeholders.
About FieldFresh Foods Pvt. Ltd.:
FieldFresh Foods Private Limited is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises & Del Monte Pacific Limited. With a vision of 'creating delightful food experiences', FieldFresh Foods offers a range of food and beverage products under the Del Monte brand in India and select SAARC countries, while exporting fresh and processed vegetables like Baby Corn, Sweet Corn, Chillies etc to UK and western Europe. It also exports core sauces & condiments to international QSR's in 12 markets in Asia Pacific.
For fresh produce, FieldFresh Foods has an Agriculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) at Ladhowal, Ludhiana in Punjab, which is one of the largest agricultural R&D facilities of its kind and is spread over 300 acres with a state-of-the-art protected & open field cultivation for vegetables. The Company also has a world class manufacturing and R&D center for Del Monte range of products at Hosur, near Bengaluru. This state-of-the-art facility manufactures a range of Fruit Drinks, Sauces, Dips, Dressings and Condiments. The plant has fully integrated & highly automated lines consistently producing high quality products which remain untouched by the human hand.
About Punjab Agricultural University:
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is located at Ludhiana, one of the most important wheat and corn growing regions of India. The PAU breeding program is known for its high impact, and has recently released new varieties of both wheat and maize for regional production. The ongoing collaboration between PAU, University of Cambridge and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) will be consolidated by working with Fieldfresh Foods – ACE to develop models of corn growth and field-based evaluation systems, to enhance smallholder production and sustainable use of fertilisers.