Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked soft drink makers like Pepsi and Coke to try and mix aerated drinks with 5 percent fruit juice to help distressed farmers find a new market for their produce.
"We drink Pepsi, Coca-Cola and I do not know how many similar beverages are available in the market. The trade runs into billions of rupees. I have asked the companies if they can blend 5 percent natural fruit juice in the beverages they make," Modi said after inaugurating the country’s first integrated food park in Karnataka.
The PM has already asked the Central government’s research bodies to work on the possibility of blending cola drinks which are widely considered unhealthy with natural fruit juice.
By doing so, he said, farmers will not be forced to dump their produce and let it go waste because of unremunerative prices and the country can save Rs 30-40,000 crore by reducing the wastage of food products through processing.
The country’s beverage market is largely unorganised, with nearly 75 percent of the demand serviced by companies in the unorganised sector.
Modi also stressed on the importance of proper storage, processing and value additions and adopting more scientific methods of farming at the park.