What Works: ITC's E-Choupal and Profitable Rural Transformationby -
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In a country where 200 million people are engaged in farming or related activities, ITC is developing its internationally competitive agricultural business by empowering, not eliminating, the independent small farmer. The company is setting up of a network of Internet-connected kiosks, known as e-Choupals, through which farmers can receive all the information, products and services they need to enhance their farming productivity and receive a fair price for their harvest. Through the choupal, ITC sources the farmer's produce directly, reducing its procurement and transaction costs. Currently ITC has set up 4300 e-Choupals covering six states and 25,000 villages. By 2010, the e-Choupal network plans to cover over 100,000 villages, representing one sixth of rural India, and create more than 10 million e-farmers.