PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Ltd, the soft drinks and snacks giant, said on Wednesday that it is looking to double its potato procurement from Indian farmers to 480,000 tonnes a year over the next five years, mainly through increasing contract farming of the crop.
''Our potato requirement is rapidly growing and this requires us to expand our agricultural footprint. We procured 240,000 tonnes of potato last year, which is more than double of what we procured five years ago,'' Vivek Bharati, executive director, agriculture and corporate affairs, PepsiCo India, said at its project near Hyderabad.
At present, it has tied up with 24,000 farmers across nine states including West Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar.
The company is also replicating the contract farming model in basmati rice, chillies and groundnut. ''We also plan to increase the cultivation of oats,'' Bharati said.
The company said it had reduced the ratio of water in its beverage. Around nine years ago, for 1 litre of beverage seven litres of water was used. This has now come down to 2.2 litres or even less, he said.
''We are further trying to reduce the water usage by deploying new age technologies,'' Manu Anand, chairman of PepsiCo India, said addressing the media at its ground water recharge project at Sangareddy in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh.