By Opening the agriculture sector Maharashtra sate has attracted big players like ITC to expand its operations in the state. Since Reliance’s retail initiative, Reliance Fresh has got into some sort of problem with the sate government; this is seen as the big break for the ITC.
Maharashtra government relinquished the monopoly of agriculture produce market committees (APMC). This move has allowed direct marketing and single licensing system, which has enabled the private players to enter this sector.
ITC operates Choupal Fresh a wholesale-cum-retail store, which is looking to start its operation in districts of Solapur and Satara. The company sources have made it clear that they are not getting into any sort of contract farming, and are only interested in contact farming. The company has no plans of acquiring any land from the farmers.
Maharashtra government is said to be happy with the experiment that was done with ITC by in 2006, by giving it the license to buy soybean directly from farmers in Vidarbha. ITC’s model is beneficial for the farmers as they can sell their produce for much better price than they used to get. And in return, ITC helps the farmers by providing them with better seeds, which helps the farmers to generate higher yields. When contacted the company official denied any comment about their future plans.