India’s feed market may be the 5th largest by 2020

Please share your understanding of the Indian Feed Industry viz-a-viz Asian Feed industry. How do you see the market opportunities for feed industry in the country?
India has one of the strongest growth rates for the global feed industry and is one of the most attractive markets in Asia due to high GDP growth, the increasing size of the middle class, and a younger population which all lead to increased offtake of milk, eggs, and animal protein to be served by the Indian animal industry, through feed industry. I expect to see India enter as one of the top 5 feed production counties globally by 2020, with the future projected growth coming in poultry, cattle and aqua feed.
Indian feed industry depends upon traditional feed raw materials, while lot of research is now going on for alternative raw materials. In your view, what is the way forward for Indian feed industry? What is Cargill doing for sustainable nutrition?
There are two aspects to this question. Each region and country around the world offers unique raw materials that can provide sustainable nutritional value to a variety of animal species. Animals like humans do not require specific feed ingredients to grow and prosper but instead require the basic nutrients of proteins, energy, vitamins, and minerals to thrive. The Indian feed market is well positioned to use the various and unique by-products and waste coming from the local food processing industries that is not fit for humans to consume for various reasons. A robust evaluation of the raw material nutrient profile, value & cost benefit, and safety for the animal along with the proper transformation needed (drying, grinding, etc) to allow for handling and use in a feed mill. I’ve seen ingredients like potato chip waste, expired candy and chocolate, and various forms of fermented by-products provide excellent nutrient and cost benefits to the feed industry in other markets.
Cargill is focused to be a global leader in the areas of health, productivity and delivered sustainability with our portfolio of offerings around the world. Our recent strategic partnership with Delacon for phytogenics and the acquisition of Diamond V in the microbial category, is the examples of Cargill moving to support these areas. Cargill has also invested in Calysta in the U.S. which is working to commercialize Feedkind, which is a natural, fermented protein source that can be used to replace fishmeal and other proteins in a safe & sustainable way for our environment.
There is lot of misconception about the use of Antibiotics in Indian Poultry industry. Could you please share some scientific facts on this aspect. Do you see antibiotic free animal production a realistic approach?
We all deserve access to safe, affordable, and healthy food. As an industry we have to be committed to meeting the significant increase in the demand for animal protein, in ways that seeks to improve human health and nutrition, enhance animal welfare, keep food affordable, and reduce the environmental footprint of raising animals for food. We also must recognize the world is connected: Healthy animals have good quality lives, are raised more efficiently, and fulfill the growing need for meat, milk, and eggs to nourish the increasing global population.
At Cargill, while supporting antibiotic reductions, we also believe the judicious therapeutic use of animal antibiotics helps maintain the safety of world food supplies. Judicious use prevents sick animals from entering the food supply and ensures animals do not unnecessarily suffer from disease.
Mycotoxins in feeds continue to remain as the major threat to feed industry. Being an industry expert what suggestions would you like to give to feed manufacturers and farmers on minimizing mycotoxin levels in feeds?
Mycotoxins are critical management issue across the global feed industry for all species as it can severely impact animal productivity and in many countries is regulated to prevent potential mycotoxins from entering the food chain (fluid milk). The best practice to limit the threat of mycotoxins to animal productivity is to adopt a comprehensive mycotoxin management solution that starts with understanding the risk profiles from various raw materials, reviewing the potential impact to formulation & risk to animal productivity and finally select the best plan to effectively mitigate the mycotoxin risks which will likely include using a mycotoxin binder in the feed.
For raw material analysis, many companies and external laboratories can provide mycotoxin testing on demand for samples provided, but the timeliness of the results could be too late to make an effective action plan if risks are present. I would suggest for feed millers to incorporate an online or quick test methodology at the factory level to test for the presence of mycotoxins with a quantitative result. This would allow the user to selectively use lots of raw materials to limit their overall risk in feed formulation and better understand if certain geographic areas present different toxin risks basis the prevailing growing conditions of that crop. The more data available to you as a producer can then help determine the right mitigation approach, product, and dose to use to effectively limit & control the mycotoxin challenge.
You have been working with Cargill, handling multiple roles in different markets. Please share your own experiences of how Indian feed industry has changed over the years, ever since you have become the part of it?
I have been in India for over 3 years and continue to see the industry become more educated across a variety of areas. As competition is intense in the market, we will continue to see market players that invest and adopt in new technologies to improve feed quality & cost, animal productivity, and animal health succeed in growing market share and staying relevant to their customers. I believe there is still room for enhancements in local profitability as the global feed industry continues to explore the power of data and digital insights to streamline operations and efficiency in animal productivity. Much of the technology is available today but the market needs to bring this application in the value chain.