November 12, 2006

Reliance - Farmer's friend

I was delighted when I read the news about Reliance's venture into the Retail industry (Grocery outlets) of India.
For those looking for the numbers, here is some text pulled out from BBC News.

Branded "Reliance Fresh", they are part of a $5bn project planned for more than 780 cities and 6,000 rural towns in India over the next five years. The company aims to open stores in the top 70 cities within the next two years and have sales of $25bn by 2011.

Farmers make the backbone of India, and hence are very crucial for its economic progress. But so far, its a sad story for the farmers with so many suicides every year due to drought/flood conditions. The government has done very little to solve the problem at its roots. The farmers should be given (or) helped with supply-chain management of the crops, regulated water supply, and increased technology to improve productivity.

Its a very good move by the Reliance Inc. to be a farmer's friend, and become 'The Walmart of India'. As Mukesh Ambani has said, its a win-win patnership for Reliance and the farmers. Reliance has now shown the path, which will be soon followed by other Industry leaders too. Here is an excerpt from India-Enews.

Under the project, the company will set up world-class infrastructure for supply chain under a farm-to-fork strategy. 'This idea is to make farmers our partners and ensure fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices,' Pillai said.

'It is a small step in our initiative, which will create a virtuous circle of prosperity by bringing the farmers and consumers in a win-win partnership,' said Mukesh Ambani, who was here Thursday night, but not at the official opening.

This has come at a time when India's economic progress is escalating at a rapid pace. It would be good if the Indian government also plans on taking measures to protect farmers against drought and flood. Merging of rivers is a very good solution, but requires extensive planning, funding, and negotiations. Anyways, lets hope for the best in future.

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