PepsiCo India has signed a MOU with Punjab Agro Juices Limited (PAJL) for processing tomatoes and kinnows - an orange authentic to the Punjab region - at the PAJL plant in Hoshiarpur.

"This project would be a milestone in bringing a citrus revolution to the state (of Punjab)," said Punjab's Chief Minister, PrakashSingh Badahl, yesterday (28 November). "The Punjab government will promote citrus cultivation in a big way through a special purpose vehicle created by PAJL."

Badahl also added that citrus cultivation would help the farmers shift away from traditional wheat paddy cultivation.

A manufacturing plant capable of producing 400 metric tons per day was set up by the Punjab Government and ran trial operations in May.

PepsiCo's partnership with PAJL succeeds a previous partnership between PepsiCo/Tropicana and the Punjab Citrus Council Program.

PepsiCo is to start buying kinnows next month and will initiate contract farming arrangements for tomatoes and other crops with the farmers of the state for use in their Tropicana range of juices and drinks.