Chicken business – is there an opportunity amongst obstacles?

The Indian poultry industry has transcended from back yard poultry farming to  ultramodern production system in the past 60 years, generating a turnover of INR 560 billions (56,000 crores  25,000 broiler and 31000 layers) and contributing 0.47% to the GDP (GDP is 2 trillion  or 2000 billion US dollars i.e INR 120 trillion or 120,000 billion) of our country.  Our industry has steadily grown at a pace of 8-12% in the last 10 years and is currently the 4th largest in meat production and the 3rd largest in egg production. We are also aware that the per capita consumption of meat and eggs has significantly jumped in the last decade and pushed the broiler production to 3.625 million tons and egg production to 70 billion eggs currently. The prediction is also that the industry would continue to grow at a minimum average of 6-8% in the coming decade.

The need of the hour for the poultry industry is to break free from the traditional ways of marketing it’s produce and creating awareness to the consumers by branding and promotion. Poultry producers assume that the consumers are aware that they should use their products and focus only on increasing the supply, nor caring about the demand enhancement. There are doubts and concerns that exist in the consumer’s mind on consuming too much of chicken and eggs. There are several myths that they should not consume too much  of meat or eggs as it will produce heat in the body ; hormones are used to make the chicken fat, etc., even educated consumers are not aware of the nutrient profile of chicken and egg. It is true that the broiler and layer chicken in the country are reared in the most scientific ways and fed such a balanced diet even human nutrition could not match.

Chicken_Business_-_Is_there_an_opportunity_1The rapid urbanization and the migration of the 700,000 million Indians living in 600,000 villages give us a great opportunity for focus and promotion. Metro Cities, Mega and Smart cities in the future would become the key driver for the businesses and change the way Indians live and consume goods and services.

Another big question in the mind of world leaders today is on how to feed the world when the population of the world grows to 9.5 billion people in 2050. The food production has to increase by 70%. The hunger indices in several countries are also on the increase and there is great fear that the number of people who go hungry can increase significantly from 943 million currently to a few billions. The greatest opportunity for the chicken meat, egg, milk and the aqua industry is to rise up to the challenge by filling  the gap that would arise in food shortage and feed the world, thereby reducing the hunger index , malnutrition and providing health to the world by producing safe, affordable and convenient food through animal production.

The focus in Research & Development and investments in the future would be in the following food continuum and in the feed to food value chain.

The quality of life for the Indian population has become better and better for the past few generations and the Indian business entrepreneurs have conquered the globe in many sectors. Would the Indian poultry industry rise up to the challenge and be a dominant global player and feed the world, and thereby alleviate poverty and malnutrition? The answer could be a very big Yes in the near future.

Samraj Jeyachandran

Kemin Industries South Asia Pvt. Ltd.