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Pepsi, Monsanto to set up units in Maharashtra

Business Standard:  February 17, 2016

Mumbai: Pepsi will set up one more unit in Maharashtra to make mango and pomegranate juices, and also an orange-based citrus juice. The investment is estimated at around Rs 500 crore.

The company has not yet selected a project site. But, sources said the unit was likely to come up in underdeveloped Vidarbha or Marathwada. The company already has a facility in Nanded district.

Biotechnology giant Monsanto said it will establish a seed unit in Deulgaon Raja, Buldhana district of Vidarbha region.Both the companies disclosed their investment plans in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who chaired a meeting with the representatives of the US-India Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce at the Make in India Week venue on the MMRDA grounds, BKC.

Fadnavis told Business Standard: “Both Pepsi and Monsanto have zeroed in on Maharashtra. They are working out further details about investments.”

Pepsi and Monsanto will soon provide details with regard to the proposed production capacity.

Pepsi’s announcement comes after Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, Jain Irrigation and the department of agriculture and marketing of Maharashtra signed agreements last Saturday to set up a juice manufacturing facility in Vidarbha to support farmers growing oranges.

The project would give higher value to orange growers and generate gainful employment. The project is expected to benefit 5,000 farmers, with an average landholding of two acres each. Fadnavis said US companies have evinced interest to participate in the development of 10 Smart Cities in Maharashtra and also get involved in projects related to infrastructure, food processing and agriculture projects.

“However, US companies raised their concerns about the existing system of awarding a project tender to only the lowest bidder. They were told the state government has already taken a decision to go in for the Swiss challenge system. The only condition is that the entire process should be transparent and fair,” he added.

Under the Swiss challenge, a private participant can send a project proposal and even draft contract terms for undertaking a project initiated by the government.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.