26 October 1998
Success story in Indian horticulture
THE Financial Times examines the close relationship between a pickle processor in India and the countrys farmers.
VST Natural Products has built a $15 million (£8.8m) plant outside Hyderabad to process pickles, ground paprika and other foods for export.
The company works closely with more than 12,000 small and medium farmers to teach them how to grow cucumbers and paprika for processing.
Farmers buy the cucumber seeds and high-quality pesticides from VST on interest-free credit and must agree to sell their cucumbers back to the company.
In return, VST promises to buy the entire crop at fixed prices.
Last year, in its first full year of commercial production, VST exported pickles worth $1.7m to European, US and Canadian food companies.
- Financial Times 26/10/98 page VII (India special section)