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Status of Indian Poultry Industry
Status of Indian poultry
India is the world's second largest developing economy, now has a large and rapidly expanding poultry sector. Since 1970 global production, consumption and trade of poultry has grown faster than any other meat. Growth in India's poultry sector is mainly due to structural change in poultry sector i.e., integrated farming. Other factors which enhanced growth in poultry sector are increase in income level of people, urbanization, easy availability of feed etc. Production systems are different in different parts of country. 1. In south highly integrated farming. 2. Western region is slightly integrated 3. In northern and eastern region integrated farming is negligible. Due to integrated farming the cost of poultry production reduced which lead to more increase in per capita consumption. The production of eggs and poultry meat has increased in all the continents. However, Asia and South America showed the greatest increase in production. The hot region of the world has probably the greater potential for further growth since the level of consumption is still very low. This is the same region expectedly to be hit more by the adverse effects of climate change and therefore, the poultry farming adaptation for new climate is much relevant.

Present day capabilities:
High yielding breeding stocks – India has the technical know-how in maintaining the high-yielding stocks and some companies have entered into franchisee agreement with pureline/Grandparent stockproviders. Commercial birds with laying capacity of around 315+ in case of layers and with Feed Conversion Ratio of less than 1.7 in 4-5 weeks of age are now common in this segment. Some of the stocks available are as follows:

Purelines: Babcock, CARI Gold layer
Grandparents: Bovans, Hyline, Lohmann

Purelines: Cobb, Hubchicks, CARIbro, Indbro, Marshall
Grandparents: Ross, Hybro, Hubbard, Lohmann broiler

Most of the GP stocks are imported eg. Ross (UK), Hybro, Bovans (Netherlands), Hubbard, Hyline (USA/Germany) etc. Market share is approximately 65% by Babcock in layer segment and 40% by Cobb alone in broiler segment, both of Venkateshwara Hatcheries (VH) Group.
In Tamil Nadu, there are about 1075 poultry farms, out of which 4.1 crore layer type chicken are reared in places like Namakkal, Salem, Erode and Karur districts. Nearly 3.3 crore eggs are produced daily from these areas. About 40 percent of eggs are sold in Tamil Nadu itself and the rest 35 percent is sent to neighbouring states like Kerala. Moreover, 10% of eggs produced is supplied through noon meal scheme to schools and 15 percent is being exported.
Tamil Nadu gets major income from the export of eggs in Namakkal. As most of the poultry farms are concentrated in dry areas, poultry industry gives employment to lakhs of people either directly or indirectly without the government aid.

Industry Statistics
India's broiler industry produced 2.2 million tonnes of chicken meat in 2007, and boasts an annual growth rate of 12%. India is among the top five chicken meat producing countries in the world. Between 1972 and 2007, the number of broiler chickens in Indian agriculture increased by more than 200 million (see Figure 4).
The six leading broiler integrators are the Suguna Poultry Farm Limited, the Pioneer Poultry Group, Venkateshwara Hatcheries Private Limited, Godrej Agrovet Limited, the Skylark Group, and a joint venture of Japfa Comfeed International Pte Ltd of Singapore.
Most of the poultry meat produced is consumed domestically with a very small proportion being exported to the Persian Gulf.

Chicken meat production has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. It more than doubled between 1986 and 2000, and again between 2000 and 2007.

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu account for about 60% of India's broiler chicken farming, and Namakkal, a district in Tamil Nadu, accounts for more than 30%.

Broiler Chicken Consumption
The amount of chicken meat consumed in India has increased rapidly over the last decade. Although currently well below developing and developed country averages, levels of consumption are expected to rise in the years to come.

Figure 5: Chicken meat consumption almost tripled between 1993 and 2003, and continues to rise.

Chicken consumption is higher in urban areas than in rural areas, where both average incomes and the number of high-income consumers are the greatest. Urban consumers in the highest income quintile consume more than four times as much chicken meat as the urban consumers in the lowest income quintile. Chicken meat is expected to rise in both urban and rural areas in the next decades. As with eggs, this growth will be driven by increased urbanization, westernization of dietary choices, and choices of Indian people, a growing population of young people who are more likely to reject the vegetarian traditions of the older generations.

It is up to the animal protection community to once again mainstream values of humane eating and position the campaign against industrial animal agriculture or factory farming, within the modern environmental and social justice movements in India.

Egg Laying Hens
Industry Statistics:
India is the 3rd largest producer of eggs in the world (46.17 billion eggs 2005-06) and the growth rate for egg production was 6% between 1980 and 2000. Andhra Pradesh is the leading state for in egg production followed by Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharastra and West Bengal, which together produce 71% of the total. The majority of the eggs are consumed domestically.

India exports shell eggs to the Persian Gulf and egg powder to the European Union and Japan, as well as large quantities of hatching eggs to Bangladesh, Singapore, Maldives, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

Figure 1: The number of eggs produced in India between 1972 and 2007 increased by approximately 4 times.

Egg Consumption:
Egg consumption in India has increased dramatically over the past 30 years (Figure 3). The overall increase is being driven, not by a greater number of individuals who are eating eggs, but by higher individual consumption urban population , with 75% of eggs being consumed in urban areas. Per capita consumption is significantly determined by average capita income, Per capita consumption of eggs in India is rising fast in regions where urbanization and rapid income growth are taking place.

Figure 3: The number of eggs consumed within India tripled between 1973 and 2003.

A study published by the Anthropological Survey of India in 1994 found that older people were more likely to be vegetarian (eggs are not part of an Indian vegetarian diet). "The age structure of the Indian population indicates a large potential market for poultry in the years to come," as 30% of the recorded population in 2000 were between the ages of 10 and 24. Given the existing high population density and land scarcity within India, a growing demand can only be met by industrial egg production facilities that severely compromise animal welfare, as well as degrade the environment and jeopardize human health.

The egg industry has also started to advertise heavily. According to the Compound Feed Livestock Manufacturers' Association (CLFMA), branded, packaged, and labelled eggs are becoming very popular with consumers. Organisations like the National Egg Coordination Committee conduct intensive promotion campaigns to increase egg consumption.

Labels such as "vegetarian eggs", "bacteria-free" are commonly seen on egg packages in supermarkets. These labels are currently unregulated. There may be some opportunity to challenge these labels by filing a complaint under the Advertising Standards Council of India or alerting Consumer Education & Research Centre.

Industry advertising can also be countered by consumer education on the part of animal protection organizations. Humane Society International (HSI) has an on-going publicity campaign educating consumers about battery cage egg production. HSI also works with leaders in the food retail industry, encouraging them to adopt cage-free egg procurement policies. In addition, HSI works directly with egg producers, introducing them to commercial scale cage-free housing systems for egg laying hens.
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