Call it lack of will by the Government or the APMC traders cartel, the much needed agriculture reforms to benefit the farmer and the consumer are no where to be seen. ITC, the pioneers of fresh vegetable retailing under the brands Choupal Fresh have hit a pause on their expansion plans. ITC is the only company that has been able to deeply integrate its front-end retail store sales with backend up to the fram level.
Currently the company operates 24 Choupal Sagars – large format rural stores that complement the e-choupal initiative and stock every merchandise which the farmer needs. It also has 27 Choupal Fresh stores in Hyderabad, Pune and Chandigarh.
Mr. Sivkumar of ITC said,
We are going slow on our Choupal Sagar and Choupal Fresh retail formats. There is no expansion planned in any new location for Choupal Fresh.
Unlike other retailers, ITC is very serious about generating revenue from fresh farm produce and it accounts for a lion’s share. Its investments are huge and the setup integrates farmers at the village level to front end retail sales. The company is also planning to setup cold chain infrastructure. Hope ITC will be able to see the light atleast by the end of this decade.