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cover story

                                         Itc: ADDING vALUe

                                         to AGrIcULtUre to

                                         AUGMeNt INcoMe

                                         & LIveLIHooD

                                         –  Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC

              et me highlight here   milk production and created   Doubling Farmer Incomes   sector.
              ITC’s integrated      immense value for farmers.  by 2022: Role of Corporate     Today's consumers,
        Lapproach towards              However, what got us here   Sector                   influenced by rapid
        building an agri-based      is not going to take us to the   To my mind, the Vision   globalisation and with
        industry of the future. It is a   next destination. In these 50   to double farmer incomes   increasing purchasing
        matter of great satisfaction   years, the context for food and   provides a great opportunity   power, are seeking superior
        that the Company's          agriculture has changed quite   for extensive corporate   nutritional and taste
        interventions in this area are   radically. So have the ground   participation in agriculture   benefits, better hygiene
        intrinsically aligned to the   conditions in terms of a tiring   and rural development.   and convenience. The share
        Prime Minister's Vision to   public infrastructure, serious   The corporate sector can   of cereals in diets across
        'Double Farmer Incomes by   water stress and a growing   add a unique dimension,    socio-economic strata is
        2022'.                      threat of global warming.   given the power of private   reducing in favour of fruits,
                                    This reality necessitates   entrepreneurship, its capacity   vegetables, meat and milk.
        Agriculture: India's        new thinking, new research,   to innovate, its wide variety   Demand for value-added
        Livelihood Lifeline         new institutions and most   of skillsets as well as its   processed foods is on the
           Half a century ago, the   importantly, a market-driven   ability to reach markets more   rise. Increasing awareness
        Green Revolution provided   approach that will support   efficiently. Winning brands   of health and wellness is
        the first big leap for Indian   sustainable agriculture and   representing products and   also generating demand for
        agriculture and food security.   ensure remunerative returns   services linked to the agri   a wider variety of grains.
        The country became self-    to farmers.                 and rural sector provide the   This calls for a fundamental
        sufficient in food, and from   In such a challenging    anchors that can drive the   transformation for the farmer
        a net importer of grains,   scenario, the Vision        competitiveness of the value   from selling whatever is
        it transformed into a net   enunciated by the Prime     chains for the ultimate benefit   produced to producing what
        exporter. The Government's   Minister to double farmer   of farmers.                the consumer wants. Such
        strong interventions in     incomes by 2022 is indeed      A larger degree of       demand-driven value chains
        creating instruments like   laudable and provides an    corporate involvement in    can bring enormous benefits
        the Minimum Support Price   unparalleled opportunity to   agriculture is also imperative,   to the farmers if they are
        (MSP) assured farmers of    usher in the next agricultural   given the changing context   able to align production to
        economic returns. Institutions   revolution.            of the food and agricultural   market signals. Increasing
        like the Food Corporation                                                           crop productivity alone is
        of India supported the                                                              not sufficient to raise farmer
        implementation of MSP,                                                              incomes if market signals do
        complementing the                                                                   not support such production.
        research and extension            The corporate sector can add a unique             Therefore, huge investment is
        services by institutions          dimension, given the power of private             required for creating an eco-
        like the Indian Council of                                                          system that, among others,
        Agricultural Research. A          entrepreneurship, its capacity to innovate,       involves infrastructure that
        Public Distribution System        its wide variety of skillsets as well as its      spans post-harvest logistics,
        (PDS) created Fair Price          ability to reach markets more efficiently         processing, packaging,
        shops to sell essential food                                                        retailing and information
        items at affordable prices.                                                         systems. Such investments
        Subsequently, the White                                                             with larger corporate
        Revolution also transformed                                                         participation will create a win-

        10     September 2017     AgriBusiness & Food  i ndustr y
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