NEW DELHI: India’s $30 billion poultry industry need policy support in the form of allowing import of genetically modified (GM) maize and steps to boost production of key feeds, including soya bean, a recent report said. The sector, which is already growing at a healthy rate of 8% annually could see further acceleration, it added.
Stating that there has been increasing diversion of maize towards industrial use and ethanol production, the Confederation of Indian Industry in Vision Document 2047 for Indian poultry sector, stated: “the current growth level of maize and soybean production in the country will be insufficient to meet the demand of poultry industry.”
Improved genetics and disease resistance breeds and enhancement of disease surveillance in the birds have also been recommended.
Pitching for the government to allow imports of GM maize and soybean because of ‘unprecedented increase’ in prices, CII said that interest of the domestic producers should be protected too.
“High poultry feed prices, which constitute 65-70% of meat production, push up production costs and the prices could be stabilized through allowing imports of GM maize,” Ricky Thapar, treasurer, poultry federation of India, told FE.
In August, 2021, the government had relaxed import rules to allow the first shipment of 1.2 MT of GM soymeal to support the domestic poultry industry after a record spike in feed prices.
The report stated that poultry production is largely concentrated in southern and western India, CII has recommended scale up operations in states like Bihar, which has abundant production of maize, a key feed ingredient.
According to ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, the poultry sector grew 8% annually during 2006-7 to 2021-22. The poultry meat output of 4.5 miilion tonne (MT), contributed to 51.4% of the total meat production production of 9.3 MT in 2021-22.
Noting that large number of smallholders make it difficult for farmers to access markets, credit and other services, the CII report has suggested ‘collectivization of small holders into co-operatives or producer companies for ensuring adequate supply of inputs — day-old-chiks, vaccination, feed, extension services, market access and higher role in price discovery.
The new breeds should be disease resistant which can withstand infection diseases and pathogens such as Avian Influenza (AI) and other bacterial diseases.
The poultry sector in India is valued at more than $ 28 billion in 2021-22.
The CII report also stated that the growth in the poultry sector in the country has been attributed to the commercial poultry industry which accounts for 85% of production while the rest of 15% of the output comes from the traditional backyard poultry.
To enhance disease control amongst the poultry birds, the CII report has stressed on strengthening integrated disease surveillance and early warning systems for reports on bird flu incidents.
Major poultry meat producing states include Maharashtra (15%) West Bengal (14%), Haryana (12%), Andhra Pradesh (11%), Tamil Nadu (10%) and Telangana (9%) of the total production. Top seven states produce 80% of poultry meat output.
The sector contributes 16% to the value of output for the livestock sector and 5% to the overall value of output of agriculture and allied sectors.
Source: The Financial Express