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ITC Plans to Expand Its Portfolio of Value-Added Agri Products

ITC's agri business division is focused on expanding its scope of operations to include fresh and processed products in identified agri-commodities such as food service staples, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.

Shivam Dwivedi
ITC Ltd
ITC Ltd

ITC Ltd, a diverse conglomerate, is looking to rapidly expand its value-added agri products (VAAP) portfolio, which includes spices, coffee, frozen marine products, and processed fruits, among other things, for domestic and export markets. It should be noted that agricultural commodity exports are a significant contributor to the company's direct foreign exchange earnings.

Direct foreign exchange earnings increased by 47% to 9,779 crore in 2021-22, up from 4,600 crore in FY21, owing primarily to agri-commodity exports. According to the company's most recent annual report, the ITC Group's foreign exchange earnings over the last ten years totaled about $8.2 billion, with agricultural exports accounting for 59% of that total (2022).

The company has been able to leverage its extensive sourcing expertise and deep rural connections to strengthen and customize supply chains for traceable and identity-preserved sourcing of agri-commodities, assisting in scaling up the value-added portfolio.

According to the report, ITC's agri-business division is focused on expanding its scope of operations to include fresh and processed products in identified agri-commodities such as food service staples, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.

"The scope and scale of ITC's agribusiness operations have grown exponentially over the years, now encompassing over four million tonnes in 22 states and over 20 agri-value chains." The company's strategic focus in recent years has been to accelerate growth by rapidly developing and scaling up its Value-Added Agri Products (VAAP), which span multiple value chains and include spices, coffee, frozen marine products, and processed fruits, among other things," it said.

As these businesses reach critical mass, the company is expanding its end-to-end presence across the value chain, aided by the Life Sciences and Technology Centre's R&D capabilities and external collaborations. To boost the competitiveness of domestic agri-value chains, foster new business models, and expand value creation opportunities, ITC has successfully launched ITCMAARS (Meta market for Advanced Agriculture and Rural Services), a crop-agnostic 'phygital' full-stack Agritech platform in six states, with over 200 FPOs and over 40,000 farmers already signed up.

ITC is one of India's leading exporters of value-added frozen marine products. The company's sales will reach new highs in 2021-22, thanks to expansion into new markets in North America and West Asia.

In the processed fruits and vegetable segment, the company is expanding its footprint in categories such as fruit pulp and tomato paste across conventional and certified segments through a collaborative network of small and marginal farmers from four states.

ITC is a market leader in whole spices like chili, turmeric, coriander, and cumin. In line with its strategy of increasing value addition, the company has recently expanded into 'food safe' markets such as the United States, Europe, and Japan, leveraging key strengths such as identity-preserved sourcing expertise, strong backward integration, superior processes, supply chain custody, and customer-focused strategies.

"Over the course of the year, the company solidified its position as a preferred supplier for discerning customers in the food safe segment, private labels, steam sterilized, and organic products." "Strong growth in exports was driven by new customers and a more diverse product mix," according to the report.

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