ITC is also developing a 10,000 hectares of agro forest in Odisha
January 13, 2016
In an effort to strengthen the farm forestry initiative, ITC Paperboards and Speciality Papers Division (PSPD) has developed demonstration plots to showcase various agronomic practices and agroforestry models apart from setting up a soil testing laboratory at its clonal production centre in Bhadrachalam.
The laboratory has been set up to enable farmers get their soil tested free-of-cost. As part of the initiative, ITC-PSPD’s Plantation Department, through its demonstration plots showcases various agronomic practices and agroforestry models to improve farm profitability.
The diversified ITC groups’s large-scale social and farm forestry programme has greened over 2,00,000 hectares and created over 95 million person days of employment for farmers.
“We value our long-standing relationship with farmers that we have built over the years and are making significant efforts in enhancing their income through increasing productivity and being a willing buyer of their produce through direct purchase and cash payment on delivery to the plant,” according to Sanjay Singh, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC-PSPD.
The idea behind the creation of support infrastructure is to help farmers in adoption of good agronomic practices and enable them to get higher yields from the same plot of land and thereby improve their profitability and income.
Farmers are also informed about the suitability of different agriculture crops in the agroforestry system and adoption of agroforestry models and not to go in for mono-cropping. The soil test reports ensure farmers are able to use the right dosage of fertiliser, which will help them to save on the cost of inputs and facilitate better soil health management thereby leading to higher crop productivity in future.
On the other hand, such initiatives help generate a sustainable source of raw material for the expanding business of ITC Paperboards. The paper division organizes farmers’ meets to sensitise them about soil and plant health, good agronomic practices, soil profile study and soil sample collection methods. The demonstration plots showcase pulpwood tree cultivation.
ITC has been distributing a Farmers’ Handbook on good agronomic practices for pulpwood plantations, soil testing reports and recommended fertilisers.
Meanwhile, in subsequent news, ITC is also developing a 10,000 hectares of agro forest that will provide livelihood opportunities for locals and also would help in generating raw material for its paper business. This was announced at the Government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ event in Mumbai on February 14, where Odisha bagged around Rs. 40,000 crore of investments. ITC also plans to set up a food processing plant at an investment of Rs. 800 crore in Odisha.
The Odisha investment pitch at the event witnessed all the industry stalwarts including Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman Aditya Birla Group, Y C Deveshwar, chairman, ITC Ltd, Shashi Ruia, chairman, Essar Group, G B S Raju, business chairman, GMR Group, T V Narendran, managing director, Tata Steel and Rajesh Adani, managing director, Adani Enterprises. This also validates the fact that Odisha has emerged as a top investment destination in the country.