Companies are investing in international feed technology for better efficiency: CLFMA of India

Right from its inception CLFMA (Compound Livestock Feed Manufactures Association), which was registered in 1967, this association has been representing the Indian feed industry. It acts as a platform to promote balance feeding of animals and to resolve various issues faced by livestock industry. In an interview with Think Grain Think Feed, the office bearers of CLFMA of India discussed the key challenges faced by feed industry today and its future scope. Below are excerpts from the interview:

Please tell us in brief the role played by CLFMA over the years in the development of poultry, dairy and livestock feed industry in India.

Mr Saraogi: CLFMA is the leading Livestock Association in India presently with more than 240 member companies which was formed and registered in 1967. The prime objective of CLFMA is helping the promotion of overall animal husbandry, by promoting the concept of balanced feeding of animals in accordance with their nutritional requirements for deriving the maximum output from them through productivity improvement.
CLFMA represents the Livestock Industry in various policy making forums related to Livestock Sector in India
CLFMA provides information and education to the members and farming communities by conducting seminars in the field of Poultry, Dairy and Livestock Feed Industry.
CLFMA makes representations to Central and State Governments and submits suggestions, thus providing a strong platform to voice of the Industry before the State and Central Government.
CLFMA is organizing its annual event-Annual General Meeting & National Symposium on 10-11 September in Jaipur, Rajasthan, which is expecting 500 delegates from Poultry, Dairy and Aqua. At the Annual Event, CLFMA will highlight the issues of Dairy, Aqua and Feed related industries to the Government and other concerned body representatives and will request for the solutions as well.
During the biennial conferences organized by ANSI (Animal Nutrition Society of India) and ANA (Animal Nutrition Association), CLFMA of India interacts with the researchers to bring the problems of the industry to their notice and in turn, try to get newer technologies which have potential for the industry to take up.
Now, India ranks first in livestock population in the world and it plays an important role in the national economy as well as in the socio economic development by augmenting family incomes and generating gainful employment in the rural areas, particularly for the landless, small and marginal farmers. With its 1.2 billion population and 8% GDP growth rate, India is rapidly emerging as one of the biggest markets in the world. Livestock sector contributes approximately 4% to GDP and 27% to agriculture GDP.
Poultry and dairy sectors are the major sectors contributing to economic development. Chicken meat and eggs are the best source of quality protein which is basic requirement of millions of poor people.
This year, CLFMA also conducted Aqua Seminar at Kolkata along with USSEC on the theme “Embracing Technology for Aquaculture Development” at Kolkata in the month of June’15 and created awareness amongst the participants about huge potential for Fisheries development in India. We also participated in the event on issues of banning antibiotics in Animal Feed, FSSAI regulations and its impact on chicken meat production in India.
CLFMA collects, classifies and circulates Technical, Managerial and Statistical information beside information on Government Policies on line, latest news and information on the website. We are generating daily newsletters, which covers news related to Poultry, Dairy and Aqua sector.
What are the key challenges faced by Indian feed industry today? The up gradation of the existing technology in the industry appears to be very slow process. What kind of problems do you think are being faced by the feed millers in importing latest technology? Please throw some light on these issues.
Mr Wange: The key challenges faced by Indian feed industry are as follows:
uncertainty in demand
volatility in commodity prices
scarcity of availability of talent specially veterinary graduates
Feed industry is generally considered as a simpler technology industry and hence latest technology is adopted at a slow pace. But since last decade the scenario has started changing in a positive manner and now companies are investing heavily in upgraded technology even importing international technology, which has resulted in better efficiency and other value benefits.
Latest technology investments are observed better in Aqua feed industry compared to poultry and dairy feed, where a major share is still using traditional technology. Reason for slow investments is high capital expenditure i.e. 30-40% higher in case of imported technology. A large number of players are still operating at small to medium level.
Another challenge is accessibility of timely service and spare parts, if international companies can bring their gowdoun for spare parts in India it might bring more confidence of the investors i.e. Indian feed miller.
The industry is improving but still at a lower pace. There is still lot more scope of improvements.
According to a recent report on Indian feed industry, published by Yes Bank, the industry is poised to be doubled in next 5 years, up to 30 billion USD. What is your take on that and what kind of growth do you visualize in dairy sector? 
Dr. K. Rathnam: Current cattle feed production is about 7.3 million tons whereas requirement as per cattle population of the country is 67 million tons. Estimated growth of feed industry is 4% while the demand is 6%. In order to sustain the current milk production as well as future estimated production, nutrition can play an important role and hence feed becomes critical. Several factors which drive the feed industry are:
shrinkage of cultivable land
shift in agricultural produce
milk productivity enhancement
increase in cross bred and high yielding animals
Dairy sector is poised to grow at 6% CAGR for the next 5-10 years, achieving 200 million metric tonnes by 2020 from a current milk production of 140 million metric tonnes. There is huge scope for providing good quality feed to maintain this growth and health of animals.
What are the problems faced by Indian feed industry with special reference to raw material availability?
Mr Wange: Standard raw material is major challenge. Proper material handling and storage is still lacking in India. Quality raw material become a major challenge for the industry. Companies like Godrej are already having quality specifications and price-vale equation is already in there in the system.
While Feed Industry has been lately talking about optimizing production, which also includes the import of raw materials, in the southern part of India there seems to be an over production of fish feed. In view of that, what kind of initiatives are being taken by CLFMA to increase the acceptability and the purchase of compound feed by fish farmers in other parts of the country.
Dr Bhosale: CLFMA of India has always supported level playing field for imports and exports of raw materials. We have never opposed exports of raw materials from India and at the same time we have also asked Government of India to allow imports of raw materials. That helps to keep prices of raw materials in domestic market in alignment with International markets.
As Andhra Pradesh is leading state in commercial freshwater fish feed production, all investments in floating fish feed production took place in Andhra Pradesh. Due to this, there is overcapacity today. Only 40-50% of total installed fish feed production capacity is utilized. Present scenario is after making feed in Andhra Pradesh, it is sold in other states. Feed millers should come forward to make future investments of fish feed production in other states as well and reduce impact of transport and other cost.