“Our potato requirement is rapidly growing and this requires us to expand our agricultural footprint. We procured 240,000 tonnes of potato last year, which is more than double of what we procured five years ago,” Vivek Bharati, executive director, agriculture and corporate affairs, PepsiCo India, said.
At present, it has tied up with 24,000 farmers across nine states including West Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar.
The company is also replicating the contract farming model in basmati rice, chilies and groundnut. “We also plan to increase the cultivation of oats,” he said.
Positive water balance
The company said it had reduced the ratio of water to beverages. Around nine years ago, for 1 ltr of beverage seven litres of water was used. This has now come down to 2.2 ltr of water and even less, he said.
“We are further trying to reduce the water usage by deploying new age technologies,” Manu Anand, chairman of PepsiCo India, said addressing the media at its ground water recharge project at Sangareddy in Medak district.
The company has restored three ponds in Cheriyal, Kashipur and Kotlapur at Sangareddy with a potential to recharge 400 million litre of water every year and benefit 7,500 villagers.