Business

ITC division eyes fruits, vegetables for growth

Fresh pursuit: The fruits and vegetables are likely to be
introduced under a single brand.

Fresh pursuit: The fruits and vegetables are likely to be introduced under a single brand.  

more-in

e-Choupal readies for digital economy

ITC’s agri business division, which has an annual turnover of about ₹9,000 crore, is planning to foray into fresh fruits, vegetables and upgraded series of e-choupal which it sees as potential areas for non-linear growth.

“There are new age consumers on one end and farmers looking for higher income on the other end,” S. Sivakumar, division chief executive, agri business, ITC, told The Hindu.

“We see opportunities for us in catering to these two segments through enabling a demand-driven production system.”

The division’s growth is partly aligned with the company’s FMCG business. It would also unveil variants of potatoes soon followed by dehyrdrated onions. A number of these new products provide opportunities for growth.

The fruits and vegetables are likely to be introduced under a single brand. On the dairy front, while ghee and dairy whitener are already in the market, other value added products are under various stages of development.

On ITC e-choupal, Mr. Sivakumar said, there are now 6,100 e-choupals covering about 40,000 villages benefiting four million farmers. With rapid penetration of smart phones and gradual reduction in bandwidth cost, the e-Choupal model will soon be digital economy-ready.

In its fourth generation, called e-Choupal 4.0, the model will focus on creating a market ecosystem to provide agricultural services based on digital platforms and a lot more app-based integration. E-choupal 4.0 series is all set to be rolled out fully by late 2018, he said. The 4.0 series will be an aggregator of service providers on the digital platform, which will be integrated with initiatives on the ground of ITC’s agri business across 70,000 villages. “This will give an outreach to the service providers and will be based on a revenue model,” he said.

Two prototypes of e-choupal 4.0 are on the trial. One is about building a community of seed producers and consumers, also bringing together seed processors, certifiers, financiers, etc. There will be several such communities on the platform.

Climate change

To help farmers face the challenges of climate change, ITC is working with the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research to develop a climate-smart village model, improve the climate literacy of farmers and develop climate-resilient agricultural systems. In the first phase, that started last year and will go on till 2019, about 600 villages in three States will be covered. By the end of 2019, it will be ready for wider roll out. Climate changes are micro-regional now and a common project would not work. The project has started off at Rajasthan and will commence during the current Rabi season in two places in Madhya Pradesh.

(The reporter was in Bhopal at the invitation of ITC)

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Business
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:28:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/itc-division-eyes-fruits-vegetables-for-growth/article19699688.ece

Next Story