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Adding Value To The Farmers Produce

Pioneering the cultivation of Flue-cured Virginia tobacco in India, we have built an enduring partnership with several thousand farming communities in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This partnership is the bulwark of ITCs core initiatives in sustainability. For decades now, we have actively engaged with farmers and collaborated with key public institutions such as the Tobacco Board and the Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI). Our R&D has steadily upgraded the practice of tobacco farming adding value to the farmers produce through improved varieties, upgraded crop and curing practice and post harvest product management. It has been the vital force in establishing India as a strong contender in the global tobacco market. Integrated Farm Management

Sustainability of the soil, management of water and conservation of energy are the critical factors in farm productivity. The development of low cost, appropriate farming technologies that conserve natural resources while augmenting crop quality, yield and competitiveness is the fundamental objective of our R&D initiatives. Our Research & Development Center provides critical support for all interventions in tobacco growing, soil enrichment and recovery, agriculture and forestry. Our innovations introducing appropriate, locally feasible technology have systematically aligned the Indian tobacco grower to global standards. Combining non-invasive farming techniques and appropriate technology is crucial to sustainable agriculture and ecological balance

Tray Seedling Technology Sustainable soil and crop management being a core focus, tray seedlings have been widely propagated as a practice that simultaneously conserves soil nutrients and increases farm yields. Rearing tobacco seedlings in trays with vermicompost as the medium consumes less water, accelerates plant growth and boosts yields.

Water Management Water management is a critical factor in rain-fed and substantially arid regions. Drip irrigation projects are being actively promoted, significantly reducing water usage and considerably saving on both power and labour.

Venturi Furnace Systems Energy consumption in Flue-curing has been optimized by introducing fuel-efficient Venturi Furnace Systems in tobacco curing barns. With improved pipe layout and metal-clad doors and roofs insulated with paddy straw, these systems reduce curing time and fuel consumption. Deploying appropriate technology that also utilizes alternative fuel, Venturi furnaces supplement firewood with briquettes made of coffee or paddy husk and other agri-waste.

Vermiculture Vermicomposting harnessing earthworms to produce organic fertilizer is a key intervention in renewing soil health, producing improved crops and boosting farm incomes. We provide training and start-up supervision to farmers and subsidies the cost of construction of vermin-sheds. Women are encouraged to take up

vermicomposting as a source of income generation. In a drive that has seen many vermicompost units built, organic fertilizer is supporting non-tobacco crops too.

Integrated Pest Management An integrated Pest Management programme links counter measures to close monitoring of pest incidence to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. Employing neem-based and other organic pesticides protects crops and conserves the fertility of the soil.

Integrated Watershed Development Almost 67% of cultivated land in India faces moisture stress for more than half the year. The essential means to combat moisture stress is to build up water resources to recharge the water table, enabling the recovery of land for agriculture. Water user groups supported by us, combining environmental action with income generation, have contributed significantly to combat moisture stress in drought-prone zones, setting in motion a drive for water conservation, involving all stakeholders. The water harvesting structures that have been built include percolation tanks, nalla bunds and check dams. These structures extend critical irrigation throughout the cultivation cycle, enhancing tobacco productivity, enabling multiple cropping and crop diversification. While part of the cost of these structures are subsidized, these are built with contributions from user groups who maintain the structures from their own resources, asserting a vital spirit of sustained ownership, safeguarding human and environmental health and agricultural productivity.

Social & Farm Forestry India present average soil loss is almost 3 to 5 times the normal level, its forest cover is a mere 1 1% compared to a desired minimum of 33%. The regeneration of biomass is critical to dryland agriculture for arresting soil erosion, conserving soil moisture, improving fertility and significantly augmenting groundwater recharge. We work with select NGOs to motivate wasteland owners to form user groups and start subabul plantations. ILTD provides all inputs required for success including loans, saplings and training in latest silvicultural techniques. Carefully planned felling cycles prevent net loss of forest cover and topsoil. The plantations yield plentiful pulping fibre, fodder and fuel. They help to reclaim fallow land and add a useful source of income for wasteland owners, making a vital difference to subsistence farmers who own wastelands. Social forestry programmes have been extended to the fishing communities around our tobacco processing plant in Chirala, on the cyclone-prone Andhra coast. Cyclone devastation in this area has increased manifold because of the extensive depletion of mangrove forests. With our support, beachside wastelands are being transformed into casuarinas plantations which act as crucial cyclone buffers and are also a profitable land use option for these fishing communities