Slower Global economy, lesser production yields compared to previous years, water scarcity and various such issues are not only affecting the human population but the livestock industry as well. To understand the impact of these challenges at grass-root level, TGTF team contacted the Protagonists of the industry, who shared their views about facing these challenges and developing strategies for an improved and sustainable livestock production and a healthy growing animal industry.
Keeping in mind the inducive nature of the Indian animal protein demand, the current feed industry in India is estimated to be doubled by 2020, which would be around USD 30 billion-according to Yes Bank report released in mid-2015. With the chicken meat estimated consumption forecast at 4.19 MMT which is 8% increase and fluid milk consumption forecast at 62.75 MMT which is 5% increase in 2016 (USDA Foreign Agriculture Services), India might have gained better position in overall animal production (thanks to our huge livestock population) but there is still a long way to go to match world production standards. This is well evident by present statistics as in case of milk production, average milk production in India is at 3000-4000 litres per lactation while world average milk production is at 7000-8000 litres per lactation.
Among various factors viz. genetic potential, housing, and management, nutrition can play a remarkable role in improving the production as per the genetic potential of the animal. Increase in animal productivity can provide quality animal protein for human consumption at reasonable price.
Raw Material Availability
Generally exporting fair quantity of soybean meal for almost a decade, the country has maintained its position as one of the non-GM producing country in the world. As per 2010/11 figures, the country exported around 4 MMT of soyabean meal. But recently the scenario has changed abruptly and the country shifted from being a exporter to a net importer. 225,000 MT of corn has been imported for starch and animal feed production and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in market year 2015-16 corn imports are estimated higher at 4 MMT.
While discussing about the recent trends of import, Mr. Pawan Kumar, Rabobank official has quoted that, “The Indian government allowed the import of duty free corn due to decline in corn production in 15/16. Crop is expected to decline by 13% YOY and for the first time since 2002/03 consumption will be higher than production. This Shortage has resulted in India, from being a net exporter to net importer this year. However, we see this as a temporary phase. Since India still has a lot of room for improving yield and acreage expansion for corn, that can help the country to increase the production in coming years, of course, subjected to if weather remains supportive. India’s corn yield remains 50% lower than the world average and much lower than US, where average yields are about 10 mt/ha compared to 2.5-3 Mt/ha in India.”
On price predictions, Rabobank official stated that, “The duty free import decision was taken keeping in mind the demand from feed sector, or else the prices shall escalate to higher levels. Currently, the price remains well above the MSP and almost 70% higher than the CBOT price.”
As per the prevailing situation, policies need to be framed and implemented in all sincerity and earnestness, in tune with the GROW in India concept, and thus, boost up the production of feed crop, so as to match the increasing demand from the industry.
Role of Standardization
The Nutritional quality standards of the Indian feed and fodder industry are set by the Bureau of Indian Standards, the central government body, which are reviewed from time to time. It is time for further revision of these standards as per international standards, in order to ensure safer and higher quality of feed production in the country.
Mr. Amit Sachdev, US Grain Council representative in India says that, “Harmonized international standards can play an important role in removing technical barriers to trade and assist in getting a fair value for the produce, without setting aside the cost of testing the product.”
“Once the standards are rolled out it will eventually help in increasing the efficiency of the production in the backward link – rather the farmers in case of grains, as they would be able to adopt standard seed and also standard practices to produce a standard product that is acceptable in the market at a fair value,” he pointed out. Hence standardization can play an important role, benefiting not only feed miller or livestock, but also the farmers.
Feed additives play a vital role and help in the better utilization of the energy, protein and other nutrients in the feed ingredients within the animal system. Availability of so many additives is making difficult for the farmer to differentiate the quality product from sub-standard products.
Mr. B P Manjunath, Varsha Group suggests, “Like the treatment drugs, which has a restricted production license where the system of production is approved by the Drug Authority of India, setting standards for manufacturing facility for feed supplements is necessary because product differentiation at farmer level is quite difficult because of too many product in the market.”
Poultry and livestock industry contributing to GDP of the country, absolutely deserves better attention of the policy makers so that instead of importing poultry products, India can export quality products and contribute in country’s trade development.
Feed production in India, as reported in the Yes Bank Report is aiming to double its current productivity that means expansion of existing feed production plants and new production facilities with latest technology.
Feed industry expert, Mr. Joseph Sebastian from Buhler said “India is the next market for any industry and agro industry will have a major share. From mid-90 onwards the livestock industry has seen a great transformation from backyard farming to an organized industry. However, feed industry is still neither defined clearly as an agro-industry nor a process, and needs more growth stimulating regulations.”
Mr. Sebastian added, ” there is lot of scope for improvement and betterment on the process and the environment. We feel with the maturation happening now, it is the time for industry to switch from short term economic schemes to efficiency enhancement and bringing innovation in the whole value chain, gearing to serve the evolving biggest consumer market.”
Awareness at customer and industry level can play a crucial role in industry revolution. Having right policy and schemes in place is important for any sector to grow.
Discussing regarding the policy changes, Mr. Amit Saraogi, CLFMA of India said,” the state governments should come up with better financial policies to support the growth of Indian feed industry like Bihar government is already giving subsidies for setting up new plants.”
“Industry should be involved for better policy making like Jharkhand government has taken inputs from us in industry policy making to make it more beneficial for the (feed & livestock) industry as a whole,” he added.
On Skill Development, he shared the future plans of CLFMA of India to establish an International Institute for Feed Technology in coming year to fill in the gap of skilled staff specially in dairy and aquaculture sector.
The complexity starts from the feed in terms of safe inputs and continues through processing and retailing of the products and on the production side the livestock sector faces constraints in terms of lack of high quality feed grains or oil meals and shrinking grazing ground.
India, with 1.3 billion population is into a transition phase where better nutrition can play a far important role in providing nutritional security to its huge and ever growing population. With increasing consumer awareness, demand for quality products is increasing. It is high time that government should work closely with the industry.
By Think Grain Think Feed