Green Profits, by Ron Moreau and Sudip Mazumdar

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Diversification and increased productivity are what ITC is promoting with its computer program, which seeks to increase farmers’ yields, raise their income and boost their confidence to try their hands at more lucrative crops. Within 10 years, the company hopes to be electronically connected to 100,000 villages and 10 million farmers. Company strategists expect the bulk of those villagers to sell their bumper crops to, and buy products from, ITC, adding an estimated $2.5 billion in revenue within seven years.
For their part, Tata, Mahindra and Bharti are tempting farmers to move up the value-added production chain with that most powerful of all incentives: profits. They are demonstrating that by growing more valuable crops such as fruit and baby corn, bell peppers and lettuce, farmers can make $600 rather than $125 an acre on rice and wheat. The appetite for such products is only likely to grow: the more relaxed rules on food retailing have foreign chains like Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour eyeing India’s rural markets.
Story found here.

Source: Newsweek International