All of us sail through challenging times, more so lately. Rising input costs coupled with total volatility has become a growing concern. We have grown our poultry industry to a value close to 50-60,000 Crores of rupees but I feel we have neglected some basic founding principles and vision that we ought to have considered alongside the development.
Look at the poultry industry divided into three pillars
1) Raw material inputs
2) Production (hatchery to grow-out)
3) Marketing of chicken
We are very good on the production front but are weak on the other two pillars. Of these two pillars the raw material security seems to be most important, followed by marketing issues. These two pillars (raw material and marketing) sandwich the production front when viewed from the total value chain angle and have put us in a tight corner. This, in my opinion makes business unpredictable and am sure all of us don’t want to be in this position. Our feed industry has undergone specialization over years and we have narrowed down to two or three major commodities. Today these commodities consume a major part of our investment, thinking time, working time, storage space, distribution, availability and most of all they slap a factor of volatility and unpredictability on the business.
It was and is our utmost priority to address processes that cover raw material security aspects in tandem with the poultry industry’s development. Unfortunately much focus was not laid onto these aspects. Typically we have not looked beyond the feed mill gates to scrutinize inputs or foresee uncertainties until we actually collided with problems. In management terms we all know that this is called “Being Reactive”. What was and would be necessary is the “Proactive mode of functioning” especially when we are confounded with seasonal vagaries, logistical constraints, S&D fluctuations, geopolitical worries, monsoon failures in particular, varying consumption patterns, policy changes and the kind.
Repeated instances of crisis have now got us all on the thinking and questioning platform. Yes better a little late than never but we have to start somewhere to protect this mighty industry that has so much of global attention in terms of deliverables that are expected. I am glad that the industry leaders have taken this up seriously since the last three-four years but I guess some more throttle is required on this front.
Dr. P.E.Vijay Anand
U.S Soybean Export Council