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Satnam mulls contract farming for basmati

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, Jan. 16

THE Delhi-based Satnam Overseas group is mulling a proposal to enter contract farming of basmati rice, according to Mr Gurnam Arora, Joint Managing Director, Satnam Overseas Ltd.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday to announce the launch of the Kohinoor Club, a programme to reward the Satnam product retailers, he said in the next two years, the group was likely to take up contract farming in Punjab.

Initially, it would look at about 500 hectares, and subsequently scale up the acreage, he said.

Early in March-April this year, the company plans to introduce a range of heat-and-eat foods comprising a `whole vegetarian meal' including readymade `parathas,' he said.

The company has invested over Rs 3 crore in value-added processing units and envisages sales to touch Rs 30 crore.

The processing unit has a capacity to produce about 600 cans per hour.

Also on the anvil is a range of branded and packeted spices.

With its widened product base, the company expects to achieve a Rs 50 crore increase in turnover during the coming financial year compared to the estimated turnover of Rs 350 crore in the current year, according to Mr Arora.

The company will target both the export and domestic markets for its products.

There was a strong export potential for such products, particularly to the US, Europe and West Asia, he said.

In tandem with the introduction of new products, Satnam Overseas is strengthening its marketing network with an incentive programme, `Kohinoor Club' to reward retailers' performance and product loyalty.

Entry to the club is by invitation only and retailers who report sales of more than Rs 10,000 per month worth of Satnam's brand of basmati rice will be eligible.

The programme being launched in 11 centres, would target 3000 retailers initially and by the year end over 30,000 retailers would be covered, Mr Arora said.

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