PepsiCo has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian state of Maharashtra to support fruit processing and horticulture.

This MoU is a part of the company’s Rs330bn ($4.8bn) investment plan in the country by 2020.

According to the terms of the MOU, PepsiCo would continue to work with local farmers to improve crop yields and help ‘revolutionise’ fruit processing industry through other initiatives.

The firm intends to roll out several juices from locally-sourced fruits such as litchi, jamun and pomegranate, reported PTI.

PepsiCo India chairman and CEO Shiv Shivakumar was quoted by the news agency as saying: "Food and beverages localisation is very important.

"We already have a plant Citrus International in Nanded, Maharashtra and we continue to invest in it so that we use a lot more of the local fruits in our product.

"PepsiCo introduced Tropicana Mosambi two months ago and this is one way to ensure that fruit use by PepsiCo from the farmers improves."

PepsiCo also plans to use its expertise gained in other markets to identify feasible ways of launching fruit juice into its carbonated drinks segment.

The company is partnering with the Maharashtra government to modernise the fruit processing industry.

The Union government wants beverage firms operating in the country to mix fruit juice in their aerated beverages. Last week, Coca-Cola unveiled a new fruit-concentrated fizzy drink, called Fanta Green Mango.

This drink contains 10.4% juice concentrate, which is produced by local farmers and pulp processors.