ITC will invest Rs 2,500 crore to set up five new plants in different parts of the country, including a state-of-the-art packaging plant at Nadiad in Gujarat, over the next two years.
Talking to mediapersons after the inauguration of the Kolkata-based multi-business conglomerate’s premium luxury hotel – The ITC Narmada — in Ahmedabad, ITC chairman Sanjiv Puri said apart from the packaging plant at Nadiad, a spice plant will come up at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, a nicotine derivatives manufacturing facility at Mysuru in Karnataka, a food processing plant in Medak district of Telangana, and a consumer goods plant at Uluberia town of West Bengal.
Puri, however, didn’t give a break-up of the proposed investments on each of these projects, but said the company would continue to work closely with farmers to source important inputs for existing and upcoming plants of ITC.
“Our focus is to connect 10 million farmers across the country, including Gujarat by forming 4,000 Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs) across 20 value chains. For this purpose, ITC has launched its super app Meta Market for Advanced Agricultural Services (ITCMAARS) to provide agricultural and allied services to farmers on a digital platform. The app has been launched in seven states with over 75,000 farmers grouped in 200-plus FPOs under four value chains – wheat, paddy, soya, and chilli,” Puri said.
The ITCMAARS platform, a ‘phygital’ ecosystem, provides farmers with AI/ML driven value-added personalised and hyperlocal crop advisories, such as customised ‘Crop Calendar’ for scientific planning of crop cycles, ‘Crop Doctor’ for real-time resolution of crop infestation, access to inputs, market linkages, real-time soil testing, precision farming, among others, he added.
He said that last year, ITC procured
3,000 crore worth of agro commodities from Gujarat. The company is in the process of investing1,000 crore in the state, including the newly launched premium hotel in Ahmedabad as well as the upcoming packaging plant at Nadiad, he added.
Talking about the state of the domestic hospitality business, Puri said after the pandemic, India’s hospitality industry is recovering fast which is clearly visible in the Q1 results of leading hotel chains. “India has nearly 26 million outbound tourists and 10 million inbound tourists. Due to the pandemic situation, many outbound tourists preferred domestic travel, which gave a much-needed boost to the local hospitality industry,” he said.
On ITC’s 12th property in Gujarat, he said the 291-keys 19-storey premium hotel is the state’s first LEED Platinum certified hotel and is ITC’s 15th Luxury Collection Hotel in India.