Challenges in Indian Poultry Industry and the way ahead

Dr Ranjith Reddy and Dr Tirupathi Reddy after serving Poultry sector for considerable years as employees, turned entrepreneurs with their own enterprise Sri Rajeshwara Group in 1996 with its flagship company S R Hatcheries Pvt. Ltd. Their determination to achieve, made the S R Group reach Rs. 1085 crores top line in 2014-15 from production and sales of Broiler chicks, Live Birds, Poultry feed and Layer eggs.

S R group today boasts of being the highest seller of broiler chicks and poultry feed in South India and penetrating into Western and Eastern India markets. In addition to this S R Group has Professional Colleges as part of diversification and it has its own corporate office at Madapur in prestigious Hi-tech city of Hyderabad.
With so much already contributed by them in the industry, here are some of the insights shared by them with THINK GRAIN THINK FEED on the areas of challenges, concern and improvements:
Raw material availability and import of chiken from us: A challenge
Raw material is not keeping pace with growth of poultry industry and becoming a big challenge. Problem relates to the price and availability of feed resources. At present India grows only 11 million tonnes of maize and only 5 million tonnes is available for poultry, which is not sufficient to maintain the current growth rate of the industry.
The counter action for this according to Dr. G. Ranjith Reddy, Managing Director, SR Group is “Genetically modified (GM) grain production should be allowed in India to solve raw material availability issue, and may be at a reduced cost. Even US is exporting soyabean to Sri Lanka at INR 28 per Kg while in India it is available at INR 33 per Kg. So grain production cost is to be reduced to put a cap on its prices. Soya bean yield can be increased more than 2 times by using GM seeds.”
In addition to this a bigger challenge for the Indian poultry industry is import of US chicken legs. These legs are high in saturated fatty acids and due to lower consumption in US, it wants to dump the same in India. Moreover, it is to be kept in a frozen state and in view of an inefficient cold chain system prevalent in India, it would be a big challenge.
“Government is giving them subsidies so to offer same price of US chicken legs as that of Indian producer, but it would spoil the Indian market in the long run. In order to protect the industry, dumping duty should be laid on it by the Indian government,” suggested Dr. Ranjith Reddy.
“Still, if import of US chicken legs is allowed, then the country should also be allowed to export chicken breast to US,” he added.
Technology and feed: concern and potential
Though a lot is being talk about India the leading country in Poultry, farmers still don’t have proper infrastructure for producing the best feed and feed cost is the major cost incurred by poultry farmers. In India, feed raw material availability at constant price is a big issue in itself. Like, if it is compared with Africa, there is cost difference of approximately 20% in raw material prices. Hence to produce economical and nutritious feed becomes a huge challenge.
“General perception is that commercial feed is costlier, which is not the scenario, as economical feed is delivered by using latest updated technologies and good formulations with higher volumes. Hence the farmers should focus on management instead of nutrition which can better be taken care by commercial feed,” suggested Dr. S. Ravinder, Technical Director, SR Group.
Policy measures, price regulation and better storage: areas of improvement
Growth rate for layer sector should be 7% and for broiler sector it should be 10%. But since last 15 years industry has not seen such growth because of mismatch between demand and supply.
In last 3 years only, Bird flu has been declared more than 7 times which requires Zoning of the country immediately to minimize scare in the market and to allow the exports to resume,Government should intervene to permit the preventive vaccination in affected zones.
Every alternate year country is facing drought problem, resulting the lack of raw material availability and higher prices. Government should allow import of raw material to rescue the poultry industry from present crises along with amended/new policies
Better policy measures could lead to
(a) Improvement of infrastructure facilities, which in turn will help not only in stabilizing the price of poultry products in the domestic market, but will also make them available in remote areas
(b) Creation of an efficient marketing channel that will help provide remunerative prices to producers (in other words, India’s marketing set-up would also grow along professional lines)
(c) Increase in Soyabean and maize production, which will involve use of GM (genetically modified) seed varieties or, alternatively, necessitate to import of raw material if chicken fed with GM feed can be imported so can be the raw material
(d) Increase in import of latest feed technology by reducing import duties and defining it more clearly
What the future holds!
Better policies and funding from public private sector can make this industry grow to leaps and bounds. With the Branding of eggs and chicken which is already at its initial state is going to make a big difference. Overall this sector of the Industry definitely holds a golden Future!