ITC to invest more in agri business to strengthen e-Choupal

By: |
Published: June 22, 2020 12:50 AM

ITC is already planning to invest in expanding its agri infrastructure to boost sourcing from farmers directly, as a clearer path is visible to expand the network.

While the government has attempted to reform the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act for long, the pandemic has allowed this change without much pain.While the government has attempted to reform the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act for long, the pandemic has allowed this change without much pain. (Representative image)

In a post-Covid world, ITC is planning to invest more in its agri business division to strengthen e-Choupal — its agri value chain, thanks to the agricultural reforms announced by the states and central government. When e-Choupal started out in 2000, it sought to reorganise the agri supply chains into demand-driven ones to cut costs and redistribute the savings across the value chain.

Now e-Choupal is ready for version 4.0 in a post-Covid world with uberisation of agri services on its platform. S Sivakumar, group head of ITC’s agri business, said that the latest round of reforms are transformative because many of these have been done together.

ITC is already planning to invest in expanding its agri infrastructure to boost sourcing from farmers directly, as a clearer path is visible to expand the network.

While the government has attempted to reform the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act for long, the pandemic has allowed this change without much pain. The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce Ordinance allows for the creation of new trade area demarcation that would coexist with APMC mandis, which are the mainstay of the Indian agri supply chains.

Explains Sivakumar, “We have been directly buying from the farmers for several years now, but the sword of Essential Commodities Act was always there. With this risk gone, the requisite infra can be set up to source directly. All these years, we have been paying the mandi cess.”

For transactions outside the APMC mandi, these taxes are no longer applicable and so companies like ITC can make the requisite investments in building infrastructure in many more states for other crops.

ITC’s e-Choupal, in its 20th year, aims to be more collaborative and integrated. It also aims to leverage all the new digital technologies to provide end-to-end and personalised services to farmers.

ITC plans to provide all services, such as real-time information on weather and markets, on-farm diagnostics and continuous crop monitoring for building weather resilience, agronomic advisory for improving productivity and quality, farm inputs and financial products, so that farmers can access remunerative markets. The platform enables plug & play possibilities for new agritech start-ups and conventional agri players alike to reach farmers across the country.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Zoom responds to JioMeet; says experience, security and scale make it platform of choice for millions
2MSME push to help individual entrepreneurs; this crucial change to credit guarantee scheme on cards
3JioMeet latest trouble for Zoom: Budding internet tycoon Mukesh Ambani expands digital empire