ITC's e-Choupal, the initiative to web-enable the Indian farmer and link him to world markets is set to become a major tool for not only dissemination of information but selling consumer and financial products to the farmer communities in different regions of the country.
A big beneficiary could be the Indian insurance companies, which Life Insurance Corporation seems to have quickly found out. LIC has commenced serious talks with the ITC top brass for using e-Choupal as a platform for selling life insurance products to the farmers.
LIC recognised the formidable reach that ITC has developed though e-Choupal among Indian farmers.
ITC's strength in agri-business is the extensive backward linkages it has established with the farmers. The networking with the farming community has enabled ITC to build a highly cost-effective procurement system.
Under the project, ITC has provided Internet kiosks in villages. Farmers use this technology infrastructure to access online information from the unique farmer-friendly vernacular and English websites that ITC has developed.