Fear, Uncertainty, and Chaos have been part of most of us ever since the pandemic of COVID-19 observed across several nations. Amidst all these the people have spread Hope, Happiness, and Assurance of a great future, trying to bring positivity and faith across the World.
The Animal Health Industry too had a great impact during these unprecedented times. Though the organizations were trying to maintain the supplies of animal feed, medicines, and management products, the challenges were many.
Despite the great demands of animal-based products like meat, dairy, and aqua produce, the availability of products at consumers’ point was affected due to hampered supply chain. Impacting the sales and businesses of farmers, dairy owners, poultry farms, and aquacultures. The rumors of the spread of coronavirus through consumption of chicken meat had a very negative impact on overall demand and affected the entire poultry industry. The stakeholders, the industry representatives, and the government pitched-in to clarify the rumors through several awareness drives at the consumers’ level. The Industry is slowly recovering from the dent it caused.
Animal Health product manufacturing faced its own challenges. While in certain states manufacturing was allowed, at the same time in some states the association members were not allowed to resume manufacturing. It took some efforts to convince the local authorities that animal health products including Feed Supplements, additives, and Ayurvedic products are part of essential services as the same is used for treatment and maintaining health of animals. The situation has eased a bit now post our representation to MOH and MOFAHD.
Raw materials’ supplies were hampered. The raw materials which are imported especially pertaining to feed and feed additives faced challenges, primarily on account of delay in testing and clearance from the customs. Even the locally manufactured raw materials faced challenges on account of transportation. Some of the raw materials were either not available while some had a major surge in prices.
Many of the association members faced problems with logistics of packing material, as the local authorities were not having clarity regarding the same being part of essential items.
The availability of Manpower is another aspect that has impacted manufacturing. The mass exodus of migrant laborers hindered production. In view of stringent lockdown protocols, these migrant workers began returning to their native lands, leaving the distribution, supply chains, and production severely impacted. Hence, major manufacturers in animal Health and feed industry are left with a significantly reduced workforce.
Logistics and supply chain remained badly impacted across the country. Reduced air freight capacity, port congestion, roadblocks, and logistic disruptions hampered the availability of essential medicines, nutritional supplements and animal feed especially in secondary and tertiary markets/ towns.
The days ahead will not be smooth, but with the opening of businesses we believe there will be an improvement in raw material supplies, manpower availability, and supply- chain. We are also confident of improvement in demand and supplies of animal produce.
The Indian Animal Health Industry will surely fight back and recover in months to come. The growth opportunities for the industry will come from healthy growth in the consumption of animal-based food. The significant animal population and technological advancements in animal farming will further fuel the growth of the Industry. The strengthening of co-operative networks, entry of new players in milk procurement, processing, and marketing /distribution will open new avenues for the dairy and animal feed industry. The government initiatives triggering the growth are increasing investment in animal disease control and infrastructure, improving husbandry skills and awareness about animal health management practices, and lucrative incentives for farmers. The export potential of the industry is huge, innovative initiatives and schemes will help in taking a great share in the global market.
In current evolving scenario the animal health industry is prepared to be more responsible and dynamic for bringing innovative solutions. By ensuring support for better growth and production of animal assets, the animal health industry will contribute greatly in realizing the dream of doubling the farmer’s income. Animal Health Industry would conduce more to food security through quality and hygienic animal protein for human consumption.
We will continue our efforts for bringing joy, happiness, and prosperity to farmers, animal health stakeholders and society with our motto of Healthy Animals- Healthy India.
by Indian Federation of Animal Health Companies (INFAH)