Kolkata, 21st December 2022: The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) organised Samriddhi- Stakeholders Interaction Meet to discuss the initiative of promoting area based rural development through increased agricultural and allied production ensuring maximum benefit to small-scale cultivators leveraging sustainable marketing linkages and brand promotion. The session witnessed valuable insights from Dr. P. Ulganathan, IAS Secretary, Panchayats and Rural Development Department, Government of West Bengal, Mr. Soumyajit Das, Special Secretary, Panchayats and Rural Development Department and Administrative Secretary, WBCADC, Mr. J. Aikat, IAS Director of Food Processing and Horticulture, Government of West Bengal, Prof. Suranjan Das, Vice Chancellor, Jadavpur University, Mr. Indranil Hazra, Senior Consultant, Infosys, and Ms. Madhuparna Bhowmick, Director, Indian Chamber of Commerce.
While addressing the session, Director of Indian Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Madhuparna Bhowmick, said, “The honorary dignitaries from the WBCADC sector are here to enlighten us with their valuable insights regarding developing sustainable market linkages and brand promotion for WBCADC beneficiaries.”
Alluding to the initiatives of Samriddhi, Vice Chancellor, Jadavpur University, professor Suranjan Das, said, “Being a beneficiary and stakeholder of Samriddhi, I came across Mrittika- product-oriented services during the pandemic. I was amazed by the amount of supplies they had to deliver during such time. The way food, vegetables and other essential products were brought to us safely was a commendable task. However, commercial linkages are of paramount importance as without it no venture can survive. WBCADC secretary with his dynamic team has been working to develop commercial linkages in this sector. Moreover, the need of the hour is to collaborate with Research and Development institutions to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to develop products and ensure growth.”
Speaking about Mrittka, Special Secretary, Panchayats and Rural Development Department and Administrative Secretary, WBCADC, Mr. Soumyajit Das, said, ”Mrittika produces highly organic items and maintains a hygienic packaging. We have already obtained the NABL certificate. WBCADC is the only government platform that sells and delivers food products through retail and wholesale branches. We are undertaking different initiatives to aid in the sustainable development of this sector.”
Commenting on the sector, Director of Food Processing and Horticulture, Government of West Bengal, Mr. Jayanta Aikat, said, “West Bengal is the largest producer of vegetables. However, the state’s farming sector requires a direct platform to connect with the government. This will allow us to understand their requirements better and take necessary initiatives to augment delivery of items. More information will also allow us to better sell the products. Furthermore, properly educating the farmers on the prevalent agricultural practices will ensure better quality of harvest leading to enhanced profits. Nonetheless, collaborations will bridge the gap between small scale producers and the consumer as following the pandemic, there is an increased reluctance to buy goods from markets, which leaves an opening to sell the goods at the consumers’ doorstep. This opening must be capitalised.”
Commenting on WBCADC, Chief Guest P. Ulganathan, Secretary, Panchayats And Rural Development Department, Government of West Bengal, said, “WBCADC is the sole entity in this state to up-skill the farmers and improve their livelihood. All the products produced by Mrittika are purely organic. The organisation mainly cultivates pulses, rice, fish and vegetables. They also undertook home delivery services during the pandemic. Mrittika was a name given by our Honourable Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee. We are in touch with a lot of commercial outlets such as BigBasket, Flipkart, Amazon, Spencers, etc. We are working to make WBCABC to expand and be the prime-seller in the retail industry.”
Speaking on the issue, Senior Consultant, Infosys, Mr. Indranil Hazra, said, “Being a customer I would say, WBCADC is continuously taking initiatives and working sincerely in terms of developing commercial linkages. I believe WBCADC can compete with any other international organization with their sustainable practices on product price and quality. Packaging is taken into huge consideration while maintaining hygiene during this pandemic era. Being a consumer representative, I have 100 percent trust in WBCADC products and keep this as my first choice.”