In a bid to increase the income of farmers in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress-led government is planning to encourage plantation of mangoes and oranges on 10,000 acres in the next five years by roping in soft drink major Coca-Cola.
The government estimates the proposed "high-density" plantation of mangoes and oranges will benefit 700 farmers by 2020 and 7000 farmers in the coming five years.
Farmers would get per acre annual income in range of Rs 1 lakh-1.5 lakh, according to an official release.
"The high-density plantation of mangoes and oranges on 10,000 acres in the coming five years will benefit 700 farmers by the next year and 7000 farmers in the coming five years, giving them an opportunity to double their income," it stated.
In a bid to implement these plans on the ground, Chief Minister Kamal Nath held a meeting with representatives of Coca-Cola and Jain Irrigation at the state secretariat on Saturday.
"In collaboration with the state government, Coca-Cola and Jain Irrigation have plans to encourage cultivation of mangoes in Harda, Hoshangabad, Betul, Mandla and Dindori districts and that of oranges in Agar Malwa, Shajapur and Chhindwara districts," the release said.
Farmers will be given 500 plants, prepared with tissue culture method, for one acre land. They will also be provided the drip irrigation facility.
"In September-October this year, horticulture department will take up plantation for demonstration purpose on 25 acres and by January-end, high-density plantation will be done on 1000 acres," the release said.
Coca-Cola will soon set up a food processing and fruit juice units in the state, it said.