MULTAN: Nestle Pakistan, a leading nutrition, health, and wellness firm with special expertise in the dairy industry, has unveiled plans to expand its business in the agriculture sector by investing on the development of farming communities in the rural areas of the country.
“At this time, I cannot tell the exact amount of investment, but the company is spending millions of rupees to get better yields,” Ali Ashar Syed, corporate manager external projects and creating shared value (CSV) corporate affairs, said, while talking to a group of select newsmen, who visited Mango Research Institute Multan (MRI) recently.
Syed said Nestle has collaborated with the MRI to facilitate the local farmers grow several new varieties of mango through the use of latest technology. “We are creating awareness among the mango farmers about the positive impact of the latest technology,” he added.
He informed the journalists that in the first phase, Nestle had identified eight mango farms, which are being provided with latest technology to improve yields. “In the second phase, these services will be extended to another 17 farms.”
Syed added that this project would not only improve the mango production of the country, but also help the company get fresh and good quality pulp for its products, especially Fruita Vitals. Dr Abdul Hameedullah, director of MRI, said that they had initiated a research project with the cooperation of Nestle Pakistan to help the mango farmers achieve better yields with the use of latest agriculture practices being employed across the globe.
“The institute has introduced a new system of pruning that can enable farmers get better results,” he added. Hameedullah said the institute had also initiated an SMS service with proper advisories to educate the farmers about the damaging effects of intense weather conditions.
“Higher temperature coupled with dust storms can damage the mango crop. Due to the change in weather conditions, the farmers suffer huge losses,” he said, adding that the MRI had also initiated a survey in the mango belt of South Punjab to assess the damages done by the intense weather conditions.
Hameedullah also briefed the newsmen about various new varieties being introduced in the country. Citing an example, he said the institute has launched a new variety of Chaunsa, which can help the country earn foreign exchange.
“The new Chaunsa variety, with its unique aroma and taste, can not only help the farmers make more money, but also the country earn foreign exchange,” he said, adding, “We are continuously working on these lines and are confident that we will achieve our target.”
The newsmen also visited various sections of the facility and were briefed about the ongoing research being carried out to improve mango production. Later, the members of the delegation travelled to local mango farms, where they were briefed about the usage of latest technology.
Thanking Nestle for raising awareness about the latest mango farming technology, Malik Haji Allah Buksh, owner of Jutt Sandayla Farm, told newsmen that the use of modern methods has helped him multiply his earnings.
Pakistan is the sixth largest mango producing country of the world. Major markets for Pakistani mango include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Amman, France, Afghanistan, Germany, Bahrain and the UK.