ITC e-Choupal an idea for upliftment of rural India
e- Choupal is an initiative of ITC Limited (a large multi business conglomerate in India) to link directly with rural farmers for procurement of agricultural / aquaculture produce like soybeans, wheat, coffee, and prawns. e Choupal was conceived to tackle the challenges posed by the unique features of Indian agriculture, characterized by fragmented farms, weak infrastructure and the involvement of numerous intermediaries. A powerful illustration of corporate strategy linking business purpose to larger societal purpose, e-Choupal leverages the Internet to empower small and marginal farmers – who constitute a majority of the 75% of the population below the poverty line. Problems Before eChoupal was introduced:
Traditionally, these commodities were procured in “mandis” (major agricultural marketing centers in rural areas of India), where the middleman used to make most of the profit. These middlemen used unscientific and sometimes outright unfair means to judge the quality of the product to set the price. Difference in price for good quality and inferior quality was less, and hence there was no incentive for the farmers to invest and produce good quality output. With eChoupal, the farmers have a choice and the exploitative power of the middleman is neutralised. ICT platform that facilitates flow of information and knowledge, and supports market transactions on line. * It transmits Information (weather, prices, news),
* It transfers Knowledge (farm management, risk management)
* It facilitates sales of Farm Inputs (screened for quality) and * It offers the choice of an alternative Output-marketing channel (convenience, lower transaction costs) to the farmer right at his doorstep * It is an interlocking network of partnerships (ITC + Met Dept + Universities + Input COs + Sanyojaks, the erstwhile Commission Agents) bringing the best-inclass in information, knowledge and inputs. e-Choupal is, thus, distributed...
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