2018 is here and I would like to convey my best wishes to you all on this joyous occasion.
A new year is a perfect time to make new resolutions and set new targets in life. But while one imbibes the optimism that a new year brings with it, one should not forget the past because as someone rightly said, “Life is understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.”
Friends, the year 2017 was a special and a memorable one for all of us at IFFCO. Together, we celebrated half a century of IFFCO’s commitment towards ensuring development of the Indian farming community and of ensuring food security for India. It was also a moment for us to share our gratitude with millions of Indian farmers who have placed their trust in our products and an opportunity to recognise the support that our member cooperatives and employees have given us over the past 50 years.
Keeping this in mind, I decided to personally meet farmers and cooperators in 125 locations spread across India. Travelling nearly 1.36 Lakh Kilometers by road, rail and air to various cities and villages. I met and interacted with close to 2.5 Lakh farmers, gaining precious insights about ways to enhance our services to farmers and about newer ways to strengthen the cooperatives in India.
The entire experience was extremely enriching and I was humbled to see the amount of trust people place in IFFCO. We should all be proud of this because there are very few institutions in India today that enjoy the kind of trust that IFFCO enjoys amongst the Indian farming community. However, we should not forget that this trust has been built carefully and steadily over the course of 50 years and should never let this confidence get the better of us. Instead, we should use it to fuel our endeavors and ambitions that we, as a cooperative institution have for the betterment of the Indian Agriculture in particular and rural India in general.
One such endeavor that was started last year was the Indian Cooperative Digital Platform, an integrated rural e-commerce initiative that has over 2.5 Crore registered farmer members in a span of a few months and we aim to make it a one-stop-shop for all farming related needs and get over 10 Crore farmers on this portal by the end of year 2020. Another area of thrust for us is to expand our product portfolio to include new, environment – friendly products like various types of bio-fertilisers, bio-stimulants and water-soluble fertilisers. Sagarika is one such product that has gained considerable popularity amongst the farmers and its success has further bolstered our efforts. Apart from this, in the coming years we aim to expand our footprint to cover the entire country including the North-East of India and also explore the business of organics and have incorporated a new institution called the Sikkim IFFCO Organics Ltd. for this purpose. On the manufacturing front I want to reiterate IFFCO’s commitment towards ‘making in India and making for India’ but with minimum possible environment footprint and in the most energy-efficient manner. Our ambitious energy saving project, which is completed implementation in our manufacturing plants is a testament to this commitment.
Any new initiative would require a steady supply of ideas, which are in-sync with the latest trends in technology and business because the future belongs to ‘disruptive innovations’ and no sector, including ours is immune to this. But the great thing about ideas is that they can come from anyone irrespective of age or experience. Therefore, I would urge you to share your ideas and be communicative at all levels because this way you would help us to foster a culture of openness and participative governance in the organisation. Above all, we should make use of the Digital medium as much as possible and remember to work as a single, cohesive unit while promoting team building and openness at all levels.
While we innovate and diversify we should stay true to our founding principles of cooperation and farmer welfare. Our smallest action should be done with these two things in mind only then would we remain relevant for years to come.
I would once again wish you and your family a very happy New Year and would thank you all for your continuous support and cooperation.