Bharti Walmart launches supply chain system in Punjab

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS,

Malerkotla (Punjab): India’s Bharti group and the world’s largest retailer Walmart Tuesday launched a direct farm produce sourcing system to streamline the supply chain between farmers and consumers.

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“We are addressing the needs of farm development in India and improving supply chain efficiencies that will bring quality produce at affordable prices to customers. This programme showcases the convergence of farm development, sustainable practices and corporate philanthropy,” Raj Jain, managing director and chief executive of Bharti Walmart India, told reporters.

Bharti Walmart India is a joint venture between Bharti enterprises and Walmart stores. It initiated the ‘sustainable agriculture programme’ in Haider Nagar village near here.

Company officials picked up fruits and vegetables from the fields of nearly 110 farmers and offered them up to 7-10 per cent premium over the usual price of the produce.

“We firmly believe that the second green revolution will happen outside the farm through reduction of wastages in the supply chain between the farm and the end consumer,” said Jain.

Besides providing a ready market for the yield, Bharti Walmart experts and crop scientists are providing tips to farmers to improve the quality and quantity of the produce.

“We educate them about the hazardous effects of various pesticides. Most of the farmers have increased their output by nearly 25 per cent in the last few months. In the coming days, we certainly want to collaborate with more farmers of this village in this initiative,” said Jain.

About expansion plans, Jain said: “We are all set to open second Best Price Modern Wholesale cash-and-carry store in Zirakpur in the coming weeks. It will be for the upscale market due to its proximity with Chandigarh and leading hotels in the region”.

The company has a Best Price Modern Wholesale cash-and-carry store in Amritsar.

“There are plans to open around 35 new Bharti Retail’s easyday stores and one easyday market in Punjab by the end of this year,” he added.

Currently, there are about 35 easyday stores and two easyday markets in Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

As part of the programme, the company has installed seven biogas plants and aims to install 175 more in the village this year.