Kolkata, Mar 24: In an initiative that shows that industry and agriculture can work hand in hand towards national growth, Pepsico, which is enjoying heavy sales of snacks such as Lays, has engaged as many as 12,000 farmers for contract farming of potato.
Speaking on this initiative to a news agency the company informed that out of 12,000 farmers, 6,500 are in West Bengal working on 2,600 acres of land.
“There are 12,000 farmers doing contract farming of potato for us involving 16,000 acres of land," Executive Vice-president of Pepsico Holdings (agro-business) Nischint Bhatia is quoted as saying.
The company is currently seeing high sales on brands like Lays and Uncle Chipps. If the sales continue to go up, Pepsico is planning on engaging more farmers for contract farming.
Company procured 22,000 tonnes of potato at a prices of Rs 6 per kg, which is higher than what farmers get by selling the crop to the intermediaries.
On plans to engage farmers for contract farming for other crops, the company said that it was mulling to follow a similar method for oats for its Quaker Oats brand.
As of now the company is importing oats. It is in talks with various agricultural universities for cultivating the crop in the country.
“It is still in the research stage and may take three to four year"s time," Bhatia said.