Fast moving consumer goods major, Indian Tobacco Company and National Institute for Transforming India Aayog in a joint effort will reportedly be seen strengthening farming systems, as per an ITC release. The partnership is said to last for four years till April 2022. The two organizations have already signed the letter of intent so as to work together in the area of agriculture and other associated sectors. In the presence of Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, the letter of intent was signed by Yaduvendra Mathur, NITI Aayog Additional Secretary and Anil Rajput, Senior Vice President (Corporate Affairs), ITC. According to the collaboration, the agricultural sector will experience an increase in net returns from farming. The increase in net returns will take place by reducing the production costs which will also increase the productivity of crops.
To make the collaboration a fruitful one, NITI Aayog will closely work with the district administration. On the other hand, in an attempt to create a cohort of master trainers, ITC will build capacities of relevant government extension staff. These trainers will then disseminate uninterrupted agricultural practices and templates for seasonal planning to gram panchayat level. Further, ITC will be collecting the baseline and end line data for various reasons like impact documentation, mapping of government schemes and programs along with suggestions, if warranted, for efficient delivery.
All these steps will be taken in 25 “aspirational districts” from seven different states of the country, namely, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. These particular districts fall under the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme which was launched by the Prime Minister in January 2018. This programme has its focus on core areas like health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure.
At the district level, a special project management committee will look after performance review and problem-solving. This will be done to ensure implementation.
“It is expected that over 2 lakh lead farmers in 25 districts will be trained as a part of the collaboration,” ITC said in a statement. This will benefit the farmers by increasing their income.