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ITC Prioritizes Climate-Smart Agriculture to Enhance Farmer Income and Reduce Emissions

According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), the implementation of a climate-smart agriculture program resulted in a 90 percent increase in farmer incomes.

Shivangi Rai
Sanjiv Puri, CMD, ITC Ltd (Image Courtesy- Twitter)
Sanjiv Puri, CMD, ITC Ltd (Image Courtesy- Twitter)

Diversified conglomerate ITC Ltd emphasizes its commitment to developing climate-smart agriculture systems that address the environmental and social impacts of climate change in its annual report for 2023.

The firm aims to boost farmer incomes, enhance the resilience of agri-value chains, increase productivity, and reduce emissions. The report highlights the positive outcomes of ITC's climate-smart agriculture program, which has already benefitted over seven lakh farmers across 17 states, covering 23 lakh acres.

Notably, greenhouse gas emissions from select crops have been reduced by up to 66 percent, while net returns for farmers have increased by up to 90 percent between 2016 and 2021.

In order to provide additional support, ITC facilitated 9.5 lakh linkages through major government schemes and expanded its collaboration with CGIAR's 'Climate Change and Food Security Programme' to include 4,800 villages across 11 states, covering 10 lakh acres.

Also, the report highlights the success in Madhya Pradesh, where ITC's climate-smart village intervention demonstrated significant yield increases in soybean and wheat, along with reduced cultivation costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The company's climate-smart agriculture program aims to mitigate climate risks for farmers through the adoption of relevant agricultural practices, mechanization, and institutional services.

Assessments reveal that 70 percent of villages in three states have transitioned into the high-resilience, high-yield category, demonstrating their climate-smart status.

Looking ahead, ITC plans to expand the climate-smart village approach to core agribusiness catchments spanning 3 million acres by 2030. The company is also actively engaged in climate risk modelling to identify areas prone to extreme weather conditions and develop tailored mitigating measures.

Sanjiv Puri, CMD, ITC, recently stated that the company was looking to undertake climate risk modelling to identify hotspots for extreme weather conditions to help undertake mitigating measures customized to local needs.

In addition to this, climate risk modelling has been completed for pulpwood and wheat value chains, with ongoing efforts for other crops such as potatoes, spices, and rice.

ITC is implementing various measures, including the introduction of heat-tolerant crop varieties, crop-cycle management, optimized planting practices, irrigation techniques, and the use of heat-ameliorating sprays to combat heat stress.

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