ITC wins Top UNIDO Award for e-Choupal

ITC hyas won the top UNIDO award at the International Conference, "Sharing innovative agribusiness solutions 2008" at Cairo in recognition for its exemplary initiatives in agri business.

ITC's agri business was adjudged the winner, out of 120 solutions presented by 65 countries, for providing innovative solutions including updated information on crops in remote Indian villages.

ITC's e-Choupal, the largest rural digital infrastructure in the world, today covers over 40,000 villages and benefits over 4 million farmers. This rural distribution network, comprising of digital and human infrastructure, not only empowers farmers with information but has also helped transform rural communities into vibrant economic organizations by co-creating thriving markets.

The e-Choupal network is an efficient two way channel, facilitating the flow of goods and services to and from largely inaccessible rural markets

ITC's initiative was presented the top award among the fifteen shortlisted for their innovative character and their potential to help developing countries attract agribusiness-related investments.

Agribusiness stakeholders, representatives of public and private technical and financial institutions, international organizations, donors, NGOs and academia from various countries presented over 120 new solutions at the UNIDO International Conference.

ITC was the only winner from India, others being the UK's COLEACP-PIP (to enable compliance solutions for the export of fruits and vegetables), Passive Refrigeration from Italy (to maintain the cold chain from farms to markets) and Sri Lanka's Cargills (Ceylon) Ltd (to link small farmers directly to markets).

Special awards were given to the SEKEM farm (for ecologically responsible development in Egypt), the Songhai Centre in Benin (for holistic agricultural development) and UNIDO's ETRACE programme (to establish an effective traceability system for Egyptian producers).