ITC, a consumer goods company is planning to set up a modern food processing center in Madhya Pradesh with an investment of Rs 700 crore. Sanjiv Puri, chairman and managing director of ITC announced this during the Madhya Pradesh investor summit. He also mentioned that the land for the proposed food processing plant has already been acquired by the company and the operations will soon be commencing on it. According to his statement given at the summit, the company will have a large manufacturing plant for dehydrating vegetables.
He also mentioned that the company will work with farmers in developing high yielding beans and carrots and to process them into dehydrated vegetables. Moreover, the company will market the processed product across the country. According to Puri, food processing has enormous economic multipliers and food processing improves farm efficiencies as well.
ITC has been working with farmers in Madhya Pradesh for long in various areas, including e-choupals, and making newer varieties for Sharbati wheat farmers, and using climate-smart farming practices.
He also mentioned during the event that ITC is willing to buy agriculture produce directly from the farmers. At present, ITC buys 1 lakh ton wheat and 5 lakh ton soybean in Madhya Pradesh. They had piloted certain species, demonstrated them to the farmers and in this season the company is expecting some 100 acres to be grown. Over time, they will expand this capacity to 10,000 acres. This will help farmers to grow their income in a long way.
According to the reports, in the first phase, the company will start processing potato chips, then flour, noodles and pasta, biscuits and eventually it will enter into the logistics sector.