ITC training programs benefit over 72,000 farmers in West Bengal

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ITC Ltd’s training and awareness programs have benefited over 72,000 farmers in West Bengal. In addition to this, the company’s subsidiary, Technico, one of the largest suppliers of quality seed potatoes in the state, also supplies first generation seed to over 1,40,000 farmers in 14 districts. .

According to Sanjiv Puri, Chairman of ITC, the company has implemented an extensive farmer connection program in West Bengal. Agriculture is the lifeline of the economy and is of particular importance to the state given the massive livelihoods it supports and its potential in the future.

“I understand that nearly 60 percent of the state’s population is employed in agriculture and contributes more than one-fifth of the state’s gross domestic product. Today, with the tremendous advances made in the agricultural sector and the opportunities arising from the digital revolution, changing consumer preferences and export opportunities, this sector is poised to reach further growth orbits. thereby not only improving farmers’ incomes but also becoming a main driver of economic growth in the state,” Puri said during the sectoral session on agriculture at the Bengal Global Business Summit here on Thursday.

Perspectives in agri-food

There is also enough room for growth in the processed food sector, given that less than 10% of the country’s agricultural products are processed. Processed foods make up less than 15% of India’s agricultural exports.

Considering the great potential in agro-processing and related sectors, West Bengal is poised to seize the emerging opportunities as it has best-in-class competitive advantages in agriculture and food processing. With six agro-climatic zones and abundant rainfall, the state is a leading producer of several agricultural products, including paddy, horticulture, tea, jute, fish, and dairy products. The state also offers many opportunities for agricultural value addition through infrastructure investments that include five food parks, seven food processing clusters and an ecosystem of over 2,000 food processing units, he said.

Considering West Bengal’s strong agricultural resources, ITC, which is present in all three sectors of the state’s economy – agriculture, manufacturing and services, has over the years made significant investments in its agriculture sector. food processing. The company has two integrated food manufacturing facilities and seven other food factories that support local entrepreneurs.

It would be essential to transform the agricultural ecosystem of the state from conventional production-centric supply chains to demand-responsive and export-oriented value chains.

It is estimated that India’s agricultural exports could more than double to $100 billion in the medium term, attracting around $10 billion in investment and creating 7-10 million new jobs. Being an agro-rich state, Bengal can contribute in a major way to this growth story. This can significantly boost the state’s agrarian economy and connect farmers to global markets, while increasing their incomes.

Published on

April 22, 2022

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