Khammam: The management of ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers tried to allay the fears of subabul and eucalyptus farmers in lifting the wood from them.
The chief operating officer Vadiraju Kulakarni said that the company sprearheaded a special initiative to procure wood directly from farmers in Khammam through direct Purchase Order (PO) system since April, 2018. “The company procured nearly 75 per cent of the 15,175 MT of wood from farmers of Khammam in February, 2019. ITC has also communicated to the farmers that those who are not able to arrange for harvesting and transportation can use ITC nominated suppliers to sell their produce,” he said.
The company has clarified that the role of suppliers is to help farmers organise harvesters and transportation and pay to the farmers the rate as agreed with ITC and tonnages based on Focal Point Weighbridges nominated by ITC.
While selling to the suppliers, farmers have been advised to sell on tonnage basis and not on area (acre, hectare) basis. ITC has put in place systems to monitor and verify that fair prices have been remitted to the farmers’ accounts. Throughout the year, ITC buys most of the available mature wood (4 year old plantations) from Khammam, so that the pulpwood growing farmers can be supported with appropriate pulpwood price, more and more livelihood is generated and farm incomes are protected.
To reduce dependence on specialised imported pulp which earlier could not be produced in the country, ITC has invested in a first-of-its-kind Bleached Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp (BCTMP) Plant at Bhadrachalam. This state-of-the art plant with a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum has enabled the company to substitute imported pulp. This development has served to save foreign exchange by substituting imports for the country....