Nagpur: Patanjali Ayurved, led by Ramdev Baba has been recently given a whopping 230 acre land in Mihan after the company emerged as the sole bidder for the second time. Now Patanjali is all set to kickstart its operation and what could be better than Nagpur Oranges, the fruit city is known for, to get started. Toying with the idea, Patanjali has now finalised to set up a plant at the cost of Rs 1000 crore to produce juices made from Nagpur oranges.
Acharya Balkrishna, Patanjali Ayurved’s Managing Director claimed that it would be for the first time that Nagpur oranges would be utilized on such a massive scale. “We are not here for business alone. The larger aim is to develop this region which is infamous for farmers’ suicides. The plant is expected to link nearly 50,000 farmers as suppliers, create direct employment for over 5,000 people and eventually provide indirect employment to nearly 5 lakh families,” said Balkrishna.
The main focus will be on food products using the produce grown in the region and nearby. “What we have been selling so far in the name of orange juice is actually juice of kinoo or malta fruit grown which is not actually orange. Now the oranges for which Nagpur is famous will be used,” he said. The plant will also have a line for making herbal extracts, apart from personal care products.
The company plans to hold a ground-breaking ceremony on September 10. MADC sources said other formalities like payment of first tranche of land cost are under process. The final approval to ground-breaking ceremony will be given only after the payment is made. Ramdev Baba is expected to come for the function.
“Farmers will be trained to grow crops like orange, aloe vera, tomato and herbs according to our specifications and given a purchase guarantee. A team of scientists and other experts is also working on the project that is expected to change the farm economy of the region,” Balkrishna said.
Apart from Mihan, Patanjali also had plans to start a food park in Katol for which the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has begun acquisition of over 200 acres land. Balkrishna said the Katol land had not come into company’s possession yet. The main focus would be on Mihan and it was likely the area in Katol may be used for training the farmers in the future. He claimed the project will be benefiting farmers in neighbouring region including parts of South India.
(Inputs – ToI)