IFFCO sets up new company to strengthen rural network, sells GFCL stake

Mumbai: Fertiliser major IFFCO has set up of a new company – IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) - in its bid to empower rural farmers and strengthen the cooperative network by using information technology.

The new subsidiary would use the existing telecom network to access individual farmers and disseminate its vast experience and wealth of knowledge in agriculture and related practices.

"The first such tie-up is under advanced stage of discussion in eastern Uttar Pradesh with Airtel," IFFCO said in a statement.

IFFCO has already set up around 200 interactive kiosks at its cooperative societies using the existing wire communication technology. The company would use the latest technology to educate farmers on all aspects of agrarian life throughout the year.

Besides, IFFCO plans to create helplines to address specific requirement of farmers relating to economic, social and legal issues of rural life.

"The emerging model will be a win-win situation for farmers and will become a catalyst in spreading the huge amount of untapped knowledge," the release added.

IFFCO, meanwhile, has sold its 25 per cent equity stake in Godavari Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd (GFCL) to the Murugappa group''s Coromandel Fertilisers (CFL).

The transaction, at Rs150 per share as per the share purchase agreement, values the company at Rs120 crore. CFL also made the statutory open offer to shareholders of GFCL at the same price and acquired an additional 4.85 per cent stake. With this, CFL''s holding in GFCL''s Rs32 crore equity stands at 74.92 per cent.