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Nirmal Agro setting up canned pineapple plant

Our Bureau


Fr. Joy Arambankudy, Chief Managing Director (right), Nirmal Agro Industries India Ltd, and Mr P.V. Jose Painadath, General Manager, during a press conference in Kochi on Monday.

KOCHI, Oct. 21

THE Kochi-based Nirmal Agro Industries (India) Ltd is setting up a 100 per cent export-oriented canned pineapple processing plant at the Kinfra Export Promotion Industrial Park at Kakkanad at an investment of Rs 32 crore.

The foundation stone for the project, the first of its kind in the State, was laid on Monday at a 7.5-acre area of the park.

The company has also signed an agreement with the US-based Ashco Enterprises Inc for a joint venture to market the products in the US.

The unit would be operational within one year, Fr. Joy Arambankudy, Chief Managing Director, said.

The capacity of the plant would be 120 tonnes per day and the first year utilisation would be 50 per cent, followed 65 per cent in the second year.

The plant would attain its full utilisation by third year.

Of the authorised capital of Rs 12 crore, Rs 8 crore would be invested by NRIs and the rest would come from financial institutions, he said.

There are also plans to invite farmers to invest in the venture, he added.

The US collaborator, which has 33 per cent participation in the equity, would transfer technology for fruit processing and can manufacturing.

Ashco has a nationwide network involving major food distributing companies in the US and there is good demand for sliced pineapple in EU countries, Japan, Australia and West Asia, Fr Arambankudy said.

The processing plant, including the can manufacturing plant, and the quality of the products would be as per USDA/FDA standards.

The cans would be manufactured using tin sheets imported from the US.

According to him, the supply of the raw material is ensured throughout the year, as pineapple is cultivated in more than 25,000 hectares in the State.

As the project is going to be a post-harvesting infrastructure facility, the farmers would stand to gain.

Negotiations are on with more than 200 co-operative societies to procure the raw material and a uniform price of Rs 7 per kg has been arrived at.

The solid waste, which is estimated at 30 tonne daily, would be converted into vermicompost and distributed to farmers to promote organic farming.

Fr Arambankudy said that the project received an overwhelming response at the recently concluded Fokkana Malayalee Conference held in Chicago and World Malayalee Conference in Germany.

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