ITC has covered one million acre with water conservation programme

ITC Ltd has covered cumulatively more than one million acre of water-stressed areas with the company’s soil and moisture conservation programme thereby hitting a new milestone, chairman Sanjiv Puri said.

The conglomerate has also started a pilot programme on water use efficiency in agriculture to enable effective demand-side management. Puri said this initiative has yielded water savings of 20% to 45% in crops like sugarcane, wheat, rice and banana.

“This points to the huge potential for reducing water consumption in agriculture, a critical issue for Indian farmers,” he said in his speech given to shareholders during the recently held annual general meeting.

ITC’s large-scale integrated watershed development initiative has strengthened the availability of water resources across 16 states. The centre has stressed on water conservation and rain water recycling to tackle the shortage of water.

The company’s newly launched initiative, ‘Baareh Mahine Hariyali’ programme, is also aligned to the government’s vision of doubling farmer income.

Puri said this integrated programme is being progressively rolled out to one million farmers, and aims to multiply rural incomes through a wide spectrum of intervention. These include agronomic practices such as zero tillage, introduction of right varieties, cropping intensity and diversification as well as shared mechanised farming equipment, he said.

“This pilot programme covered over two lakh farmers, out of which 35,000 have already doubled income, while others are making encouraging progress. ITC is collaborating with NITI Aayog to progressively build capacity of two million farmers in 27 aspirational districts to help enhance rural income,” said Puri.

ITC is one of the largest private sector company in agriculture business and this division also provides raw material sourcing for the company’s largest non-cigarette FMCG business – packaged food.


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