Impact of Regulations without considering the economics

The year 2018 had a lot to offer to the industry, from scrutiny over antibiotics to introduction of cage ban. While industry players have always been up for a challenge and got the ball rolling each time, Think Grain Think Feed brings to you exclusive excerpts from an e-interview with Mr. SV Bhave (SVB), Chairman, CLFMA of India and Mr. Vasant Kumar (VK), President, Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association of Maharashtra covering the major issues and concerns the industry has today and a way forward to what future has to offer.
Think Grain Think Feed (TGTF): Considering the threat, the poultry industry faces in light of the cage ban that is expected to be implemented by Feb 2019, industry associations’ effort wrt communication to the Animal Husbandry commissioner is applaudable. Regarding the same could you detail more on how the ban could impact the food and nutritional security of the country.
VK: The CAGE Ban issue is subjudice. Supreme Court has ordered Delhi High Court to have hearing on this matter and take the decision in all such cases. Delhi Court has asked secretary MOFFS to have a meeting of stakeholders and the appellants and give his opinion to the High Court in the month of February 2019 then Delhi High Court will take a call and give their decision.
As India, is having a huge population and a huge workforce, as everyone knows that India is mal- nourished country there are reports of mal nourished death in India. The workforce requires a protein source to maintain their health. The CAGE Ban proposed by Government will definitely impact the food and nutritional security of the countries, as we are aware the chicken and eggs are the cheapest source of protein and also contains all the required nutritional values. If the CAGE Ban has been implemented by the Government the current production level of India will drop by 30% and the cost of the eggs and chicken will increase by 40%. In return, it will be unaffordable for general public to purchase chicken and eggs at an affordable cost which industry is currently providing. Hence in the better interest of the population and to maintain the nutrition it’s better to grow birds in the cages.
SVB: First of all, it must be noted and understood by every one that cage ban it’s not an issue of banning the cages. It is wrongly interpreted that the legal case is about the complete ban of the enclosure for layer hens. The Industry is responding with relevant scientific and evidence-based research to provide appropriate clarifications regarding various questions raised in this regard. So, I would request the media to avoid using the word “Cage Ban”.We cannot discuss this further because it is subjudice. However, we feel that regulations without considering the economics and ground realities, will ultimately result in increasing the prices of eggs in a country, where malnutrition is still prevalent. This would be disastrous.
TGTF: In the last quarter of last year, we saw the authorities proposing the ban on Colistin. This came as a result of World Health Organization asking member states to restrict the use of antibiotics, would you please share your perspective on this issue?
SVB: Let it be colistin or any other input, CLFMA as an apex industry association that always advocates for responsible use of the same. We strongly discourage indiscriminate use of any inputs. In the case of antibiotics, the Industry is already exploring other alternatives i.e. probiotics plant based natural products, etc. to bring down the use of antibiotics to the minimum extent possible. However, India should consider its unique Industry and socio-economic situation, availability of other alternatives, its economic feasibility and limitations in implementing a regulations and monitoring.
TGTF: Whilst the government goal is to double the farmer’s income, but reducing the losses can improve the farmers’ profitability. Would you please share some tips for Poultry farmers to control their losses?
VK: To control the losses of Poultry farmers my advice to them is to have excellent bio-security,best management of flock and control the viral diseases and application of the best practices to use. By creating outlets to sell their products that is chicken and eggs directly to consumers at reasonable price will help to increase consumption and profits.
TGTF: Cost-effectiveness is the biggest issue faced by complete value-chain of the feed industry, what solution would you like to suggest to the feed manufacturer to control its production cost, so that the compound feed is available at an affordable price to the consumer/farmer?
SVB: Out of the total cost of feed raw materials like maize, soybean contribute to more than 2/3rd. Hence, affordability of the feed is heavily dependent on the cost of raw material. Currently in India, most of the feed manufacturers are having world class high-tech feed mills, which help them to improve efficiency. So, the raw material side needs to be more focused if affordability of feed needs to be improved.
TGTF: Compared to Indian Dairy Industry, the Poultry industry is much more organized and it has its own challenges as well, what according to you would be the face of the industry 5 years down the line?
VK: The industry can be seen as more matured and organized and consolidation may be seen in the next five years. The demand for the processed chicken will also be improved in coming years.
Further I am sure that the poultry will find ways to overcome all challenges and grow faster and will feed the growing population of India.
TGTF: Lastly, we would like to know your views on the Future Perspective of Indian Feed Industry that also happens to be the theme of the upcoming Feed Conference.
SVB: Obviously, Indian feed industry is going in tandem with the fast-growing protein consumption in India. The Broiler Industry is expected to grow around 8% per annum and the layer Industry is expected to grow around 5% per annum in the next 4 to 5 years. Similarly, Dairy Sector in the processing side is growing at double digits. India has already become one of the largest players in the global shrimp Industry. Hence, I feel that there are positive trends for the Indian Feed Industry to grow in the upward directions in the next few years. Most importantly, consumption of high quality scientifically balanced and nutritious compound feed needs to be promoted across the board in all the livestock sector as it has been proved that productivity is improved with the use of high-quality feed.
For more exclusive insights on topics like above and other novel ideas, Think Grain Think Feed invites you to Feed Tech Expo 2019 scheduled on 1-2-3 Feb’19 at Auto Cluster Exhibition Center, Pune. The 3- day exhibition along with concurrent events – Poultry seminar and Feed Pelleting workshop on day 1, Feed conference and interactive session on day 2 and Feed safety workshop on last day will cover the entire value-chain of Feed Industry.