Hyderabad: ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division is taking several measures to facilitate the realization of fair prices to farmers growing pulpwood plantation. ITC has spearheaded measures to strengthen the aspects of procurement.
ITC officials have been continuously engaging with farmers to enable them to supply their ready produce to the Company’s mill at Sarapaka, Bhadradri-Kothagudem district. In such cases of direct supply, the Purchase Orders will be issued to the farmers and payment as per mill landed price (including the cost of transportation and harvesting) will be made directly to their respective bank accounts.
ITC has also communicated to the farmers that those who are not able to arrange for harvesting/transportation, can use the ITC nominated suppliers to sell their produce. The company has clarified that the role of suppliers is to help farmers organize harvesters and transportation and pay to the farmers the rate/ton, as agreed with ITC and tonnage based on the Focal Point Weighbridges nominated by ITC. While selling to the suppliers, farmers have been advised to sell on a tonnage basis and not area (acre, hectare) basis. ITC will monitor/verify that fair prices have been remitted to the farmers’ accounts.
In addition, farmers are being requested to conduct all transactions with suppliers only through banking channels, so that payments to farmers can be monitored/verified by ITC on a periodic basis.
The Company has also clarified that mature wood of age 3.5 + years is mutually beneficial for both farmers and ITC. Farmers benefit by generating higher quantity and such mature wood also meets the quality specifications of the Company.
ITC has stated that it will continuously engage with farmers and work out a planned schedule of harvesting so that farmers are aware when the produce will be harvested and sold. The Company has assured farmers of their support and urged them not to be misled by unscrupulous vendors and have conveyed that farmers can reach out to ITC managers to discuss their issues.
Commenting on this, Mr. Vadiraj Kulkarni, COO, ITC’S Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division said – “ ITC has implemented a large-scale afforestation programme which has created a green cover over 6,80,000 acres and large-scale livelihoods. We cherish our long-standing relationship with farmers and are committed to ensuring their livelihood security”.