An evolution in Cattle Feed Industry

Since 2000, the technical growth of feed industry has contributed to transformation of livestock production to highly commercial and specialized business. Thereby, India has shown ample growth in milk production & emerged as number one milk producing country with production of 146 MMT. A major chunk of around 70% of the total production is contributed by unorganized sector against 30% contribution by organized sector, where cooperative sector has played a substantial role to lead the growth.
1Per capita consumption of milk has increased from 276 to 450 ml. Milk cooperatives are continually striving to meet the milk demand for huge population (1.31 Billion) of the country. The three tier structure of the cooperatives, set up by Amul Dairy, Anand known as “Anand Pattern” enabled the country to obliterate the hardships of milk producers faced over the period of 6 decades.
Animal Population
In India, the largest milch animal (in-milk and dry) population comprising of cows and buffaloes, has increased from 111.09 million to 118.59 million (growth of 6.75%) and the number of animals in milk, cows and buffaloes, has increased from 77.04 million to 80.52 million (growth of 4.51%) and the total number of female cattle count is 122.9 million.
2Feeding Scenario in the Country
Though India has succeeded in attaining number one position in milk production, traditional feeding to milch animals needs to be replaced by feeding of scientifically compounded feeds to further improve milk production and profitability. Unfortunately, Indian feed industry is able to fulfill only 10-15% of the total requirement. For nutritional growth and maintenance of quality food standard, the fast growing Dairy industry in the country should be ideally complimented with a growing feed industry. Extensive efforts are needed to educate the farmers to minimize cost of milk production through ration balancing, use of TMR, bypass proteins and bypass fats. Like organized farms and progressive farmers, small and marginal farmers also need to adopt these practices for better profitability.
3Nutritional Advances
Biotechnology is proved beneficial to livestock producers through breed improvement like use of alkali biotechnology to enhance digestibility of fibrous feed and maximize the utilization of crop residues. Use of bypass feed technology to facilitate fermentative digestion and inclusion of bypass nutrients to balance fermentative digestion is also getting popular.
Genetic manipulation & balance of rumen microbes is in vogue as a tool to improve digestion of low quality feeds.
For better nutrient availability of feeds, feed additives like enzymes, probiotics, single-cell proteins and antibiotics are widely used in production systems worldwide.
Currently, India is self-sufficient in livestock feeds and does not depend on imports. Instead, the country exports solvent extracted meals. The Indian economy growing at the rate of 6-8 percent per annum & livestock industry is the second largest contributor to gross domestic product (GDP), after agriculture which accounts to 9 percent of the total.
Considering the need of balanced feed and its supply, the feed industry has better opportunities and scope to perform well in near future. India had a considerable increase in feed production, up to 29.4 million tons (a 10 percent increase over 2013), owing mainly to favorable weather conditions and consistently-improving farming methods and technology.
Today the livestock industry is seen as the principal factor to improve the livelihood of people and bring extra income to the family. Globally Indian feed production stands at only 3%, which is approximately 29.43 MMT of total 980 MMT (2014). Among which Cattle feed is 7.5 MMT. It is been estimated that by 2025 the country would require more than thrice the quantity of feed it produces today, including a double increase in cattle feed. To meet the growing demand, it is essential to identify the challenges of the sector. As mentioned above, not only an aggressive promotion of educating the farmer is essential to promote the usage of feed, but strengthening the link between feed industry and the farmer is equally important. There also needs to be formulated an approachable cost factor for the small & marginal farmers to avail the same to increase the per capita consumption of protein feed, thereby increasing and improving quantity and quality of milk. There has been a slow but steady change in the feed sector of the country with international standard feed plants being established. Production of safe and hygienic feed, along with biogenetically modified is the current and upcoming trend to improve the quality of nutritionally balanced compounded feed. Thus supporting millions of farmers with added income and benefiting over 1.3 billion population with availability of quality and affordable milk.
4“Good days are ought to come!”

Dr. K. Ratnam, Amul Dairy