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ITC plans to export agro commodities worth Rs.750cr
Financial Express - 04 Sep 2001

Our Economic Bureau

New Delhi, Sept 3

ITC Ltd has planned to export Rs 750 crore of agro commodities in the current financial year, said the chief executive of the company’s international business division S Sivakumar. The company plans to invest Rs 200 in its e-commerce activities in the next three years to cover all the 14 states in the country. In the current year it has projected to transact Rs 100 crore worth of agro produces through e-commerce.

Mr Sivakumar who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the national seminar on the role of private sector in agricultural marketing organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) in New Delhi Monday said the company’s portal `e-choupal’ is also set to expand its electronic trading and backward and forward linkages with farmers in terms of region and products.

The portal `e-chaupal’ was launched in June 2000 and in 2000-01 it handled a transaction of Rs.10 crore. In the current year this transaction size is likely to be Rs 100 crore. He said that separate websites in local languages have been developed to interact with the aquaculture farmers in Andhra Pradesh, coffee growers in Karnataka and soyabean farmers in MP.

Mr Sivakumar said in the current year the company will expand its e-commerce activities to cover basmati rice and wheat growers of western UP, sesame and groundnut growers of Gujarat and wheat growers in Haryana. In the next three years the company will invest Rs 200 crore to cover farmers in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal through e-commerce. It will cover the growers of organic fruits and vegetable in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, spices growers in Kerala. He said that organic fruits like mango, guava, banana and passion fruits have great export potential.

He said that western Europe, West Asia and US can be a destination for exports of organic horticulture produces. Spices will be exported to US and Europe and soyabeans to southeast Asia, Far East and West Asia. ITC has already exported 1000 tonnes of soyabeans to Pakistan and plans to export basmati rice to West Asia, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. ITC has plans to export the wheat purchased from FCI to West Asia.