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

Joseph B. Hash

The Centre as nicely as Condition governments have taken care to exempt agricultural activities from many constraints although implementing the 21-day lockdown. As the rabi period comes to a shut in a person or two weeks and harvesting horticultural and vegetable crops requirements labourers and transport vehicles, farmers are dealing […]

The Centre as nicely as Condition governments have taken care to exempt agricultural activities from many constraints although implementing the 21-day lockdown.

As the rabi period comes to a shut in a person or two weeks and harvesting horticultural and vegetable crops requirements labourers and transport vehicles, farmers are dealing with various issues — in guarding the crop, harvesting it and marketing and advertising the create.

Even as farmers face these types of issues, what about the businesses that count on agri create as raw content?

Offer and sourcing

ITC’s Agri Organization Division at current finds constraints in the supplies of commodities these types of as wheat, paddy and oilseeds in the markets. “With most of the mandis remaining closed, there are no arrivals in the current market. Immediately after the original issues, the procurement of potato for storage has enhanced as the authorities have ensured eased movement,” S Sivakumar, Head, Agri and IT Organization of ITC Agri Organization, explained to BusinessLine.

“However, villages much from important metropolitan areas are adversely impacted as perishables are not getting picked up and need is down,” he said.

ITC Agri Organization is functioning on leveraging its institutional abilities and structural strengths to engage its farmer community and initiate buys, although adhering to the govt norms and directives.

“The farmers are staying indicated about the ideal value for their create in progress and the final conclusion is remaining to the farmers,” said Sivakumar.

Having said that, sluggish and delayed procurement from farmers is ensuing in excellent deterioration and decline of revenue to the farming neighborhood. It is critical that the crop worth chain functions — like procurement, logistics, production, export cargo and domestic profits of finished goods — function simultaneously to be certain remunerative costs to the farming neighborhood, he observed.

Logistics constraints

Sivakumar said there are constraints in going wheat supplies to atta factories across Condition borders thanks to paucity of trucks. “Shortage of labour for loading and unloading functions is also a bottleneck at the minute,” he said.

“We are making an attempt to optimise the dispatches by leveraging other modes of transportation these types of as rail and coastal route anywhere attainable,” he said.

Producing and shipping

At the food processing stage, ITC has been functioning closely with Condition authorities and neighborhood administration to streamline the availability of agri raw resources to be certain uninterrupted production and distribution of goods.

“While we have progressively obtained permissions in some States, the availability of trucks continues to be the largest obstacle at the minute,” said Sivakumar.

“Inter-Condition and neighborhood truck movement has been seriously impacted with each other with the obstacle of shortage of manpower in food factories. We think it will consider a couple extra days for the overall ecosystem and processes to be streamlined for the movement of crucial goods,” he extra.

Extension solutions

ITC is leveraging cellular systems these types of as e-Choupal 4. and its neighborhood subject staff members to be certain continuity in farming. The aim is to hand-maintain farmers on most effective techniques.

“For instance, in Andhra Pradesh, ITC subject staff members are supporting farmers in the adoption of farmer welcoming foldable chilli dryers although ensuring social distancing,” Sivakumar said.

“The new technological know-how guarantees a lot quicker drying (saves 30 per cent time vis-à-vis the traditional way of drying), other than strengthening excellent and blocking overseas content contamination,” he said.

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