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Dealing with lockdown: How ITC Agri is working around farm supply hurdles

The Centre as nicely as State governments have taken care to exempt agricultural things to do from different limitations when utilizing the 21-day lockdown.

As the rabi time arrives to a shut in a person or two weeks and harvesting horticultural and vegetable crops desires labourers and transportation autos, farmers are experiencing several challenges — in preserving the crop, harvesting it and promoting the produce.

Even as farmers encounter this sort of challenges, what about the companies that rely on agri produce as raw product?

Source and sourcing

ITC’s Agri Enterprise Division at current finds constraints in the materials of commodities this sort of as wheat, paddy and oilseeds in the marketplaces. “With most of the mandis remaining closed, there are no arrivals in the marketplace. Following the original challenges, the procurement of potato for storage has enhanced as the authorities have ensured eased movement,” S Sivakumar, Head, Agri and IT Enterprise of ITC Agri Enterprise, advised BusinessLine.

“However, villages considerably from important metropolitan areas are adversely impacted as perishables are not having picked up and demand from customers is down,” he reported.

ITC Agri Enterprise is performing on leveraging its institutional capabilities and structural advantages to engage its farmer network and initiate buys, when adhering to the federal government norms and directives.

“The farmers are getting indicated about the right selling price for their produce in progress and the ultimate decision is still left to the farmers,” reported Sivakumar.

However, sluggish and delayed procurement from farmers is ensuing in quality deterioration and loss of profits to the farming local community. It is vital that the crop benefit chain operations — which includes procurement, logistics, producing, export cargo and domestic profits of completed items — work concurrently to make certain remunerative costs to the farming local community, he noticed.

Logistics constraints

Sivakumar reported there are constraints in relocating wheat materials to atta factories across State borders because of to paucity of trucks. “Shortage of labour for loading and unloading operations is also a bottleneck at the moment,” he reported.

“We are trying to optimise the dispatches by leveraging other modes of transportation this sort of as rail and coastal route wherever probable,” he reported.

Production and delivery

At the food processing level, ITC has been performing carefully with State authorities and area administration to streamline the availability of agri raw resources to make certain uninterrupted producing and distribution of items.

“While we have progressively received permissions in some States, the availability of trucks proceeds to be the most important obstacle at the moment,” reported Sivakumar.

“Inter-State and area truck movement has been severely impacted jointly with the obstacle of scarcity of manpower in food factories. We feel it will consider a handful of far more times for the whole ecosystem and processes to be streamlined for the movement of crucial items,” he additional.

Extension providers

ITC is leveraging mobile technologies this sort of as e-Choupal four. and its area subject team to make certain continuity in farming. The goal is to hand-maintain farmers on very best tactics.

“For instance, in Andhra Pradesh, ITC subject team are supporting farmers in the adoption of farmer helpful foldable chilli dryers when guaranteeing social distancing,” Sivakumar reported.

“The new technological innovation assures speedier drying (will save 30 per cent time vis-à-vis the standard way of drying), in addition to strengthening quality and blocking international product contamination,” he reported.