PepsiCo engages 12,000 farmers in contract farming

PepsiCo's contract farming has picked up very fast—the company had procured 22,000 tonnes of potato in the last harvesting season

Riding on high sales of its snack brands like Lays and Uncle Chipps, PepsiCo has engaged 12,000 farmers across the country for contract-farming of potato.

"There are 12,000 farmers doing contract farming of potato for us, involving 16,000 acres of land," Nischint Bhatia, executive vice-president for agro-business at PepsiCo Holdings told PTI.

He said that out of the 12,000 farmers, 6,500 of them are in West Bengal, working on 2,600 acres.

Mr Bhatia said that PepsiCo's contract farming had picked up very fast, adding that the company had procured 22,000 tonnes of potato in the last harvesting season.

He said that with the growing sales of its snack brands, the company would adopt more farmers in the country for contract farming.

At present, PepsiCo is involved in contract farming for potato only.

Mr Bhatia said that farmers were ensured a captive off-take even in periods of glut and also a remunerative price.

He said that PepsiCo was buying potatoes at Rs6 per kilo from the farmers, which was higher than what others were getting by selling the crop to intermediaries.

Asked whether the company would enter into contract farming for other crops, Mr Bhatia said that the company was planning to follow a similar line for oats.

He said oats were presently being imported for its Quaker Oats brand and the company was 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 years," Mr Bhatia said. He said that oatmeal was becoming a popular breakfast cereal in India due to health reasons.

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