Poem composed and delivered by Mr. Nadir Godrej on the occasion of Knowledge day 2015 in Hyderabad
Our weather now is out of range
Perhaps because of Climate Change.
Our policies have badly failed
Our water resources aren’t availed.
So agriculture’s growth is slow
And the only sector that we know
With really good growth potential
Is animal husbandry and it’s essential
That this sector should rapidly grow
For agriculture to clearly show
It can approach the heady growth
Of the other sectors, as both
Services and industry
Are known to grow rapidly.
And without growth there’ll be no charm
In struggling on at the farm.
The demand for meat as well as eggs
Stands on very sturdy legs:
As the population rises
And the nation urbanises
Women will work more and more
And so consumption’s bound to soar.
The people will have time to roam
More meals will be outside the home.
More chicken and eggs they will taste.
Some vegetarians will make haste
To branch out just a little bit
And eggs and chicken will be a hit.
And all will find it rather nice
That we don’t need to raise our price.
I don’t intend to be rude
But pulses are no fancy food.
And yet their price is now so high
That truffles too might heave a sigh!
Now cereals make for hearty fare
They do provide a major share
Of calories on the cheap
And protein at a price not steep.
Alas! All cereals’ nature’s such
Their protein content isn’t much.
Now pulses have a wee bit more
But not much more and that’s for sure!
Indeed when it’s correctly seen
As the digestible protein
None of the pulses have a lot.
Agronomically they’ve lost the plot
As all their yields are very low.
Imports have now begun to flow.
And yet the prices rise each day.
No one seems to know the way
To get their yields to improve
For they are stuck in a groove.
Few plants that grow in the field
Have a decent protein yield.
The soya bean is an exception
But as a food it meets rejection.
Because of its reasonable yield
It’s protein’s cheap while in the field.
It’s not palatable till modified,
Not edible till detoxified.
And all of this adds to the cost
Much of the benefit is lost.
This might lead to confusion
But for a simple conclusion-
The answer lies, as we will see
Within our own industry.
The way forward is innovation.
Quick progress is the need of the nation.
At Godrej Agrovet you see
We’ve invested much in R&D.
All our team worked very hard
To set up our centre NGCARD.
Now chicken and egg both provide
Affordable protein, just see the slide.
The protein content is very high
And therefore it’s quite easy to try
To achieve balanced nutrition
But with vegetable protein this mission
Is indeed much harder to achieve
Because you will often perceive
The calories or cost’s too high
No matter how hard you try.
This consequence will naturally flow
As their digestible protein level’s low.
But in animal proteins it is high
And that indeed is the reason why
Poultry proteins would get my vote
And of course we should note,
In micro nutrients they are rich
And taste of course is something which
The vegetable sources just can’t match.
Research is on for a substitute.
Now I don’t think I can refute
That some day somewhere we will eat
A tasty vegan ersatz meat.
For us all may still not be lost
If we focus on the cost.
I think this effort will be moot
If we’re cheaper than the substitute.
The egg is an amazing thing
And I for one could always sing
Its praises, for it’s packaged well
Within its own protective shell.
And in it you will surely find
Fine nutrients of every kind.
It can be cooked in many ways,
Prepared in minutes, not hours or days.
And I don’t want to sound contrarian
But sterile eggs are vegetarian.
Not just an ordinary view but rather,
The considered view of the nation’s father.
We ourselves may be surprised
But Poultry’s often criticised.
Now cruelty is one dimension
And that’s the first I will mention.
It’s important we take stock
And try and keep a happy flock.
There is indeed much aversion
To our industry’s poor conversion.
And not the usual FCR
Which doesn’t really get us far.
As our products have much water
In truth we really ought to
Measure dry matter FCR.
Alas! This is a higher bar.
For eggs it’s eight and meat its five.
But the good news is that we can strive
To bring these numbers very low
And soon I think we will know
How to make our compound feed
Without the slightest need
Of ingredients humans directly eat.
That indeed would be a feat
Which would justify our role.
This surely is a worthy goal.
With layers this is state of art
For broiler too to be a part
Some more work will be needed.
But once we have succeeded
When the price of pulses goes too high
The people then can easily buy
Either eggs or poultry meat.
At a low cost they could eat
Nutritious food that’s a treat
With economics none can beat!
For low cost food I’ve made a case
And that indeed should be the base
But the icing on the cake
Is when we do decide to make
Products with a value add
With just a very tiny tad
Of premium and you’ll do swell.
Godrej-Tyson does this so well!
By meeting every segment’s need
They have managed to succeed.
With eggs opportunities abound
Many additives can be found.
I do believe we can succeed
In transforming eggs through the feed.
There may be gloom but we haven’t lost
Because we know how to slash the cost
And yet produce the tastiest food
Quite adequately imbued
With vitamins, minerals and protein.
And so I think the future scene
If we work with all our might
Can indeed be very bright.