The poultry industry in India

Type Conference Paper - FAO Conference on ‘Poultry in the 21st Century
Title The poultry industry in India
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
City Bangkok
Country/State Thailand
India’s poultry industry represents a major success story. While agricultural production has been rising at the rate around 2 percent per annum over the past two to three decades, poultry production has been rising at the rate of around 8 percent per annum, with an annual turnover of US$ 7 500 million. This paper seeks to capture the dynamics of the industry over the more recent past. Utilizing production, price and export data from the period 1995 to 2004, the study seeks to: (a) examine the trends and features of development in Indian poultry over the last ten years or so; (b) identify forces that are driving these changes; (c) predict the structure of developments in the poultry sector, over the next ten or fifteen years and trace its consequences for income, employment, public health, environmental pollution, animal wealth, etc.; and (d) shed some light on how smallholders are likely to be affected by the ongoing structural changes, i.e. whether it will seriously undermine their competitiveness, and if so what are the options available. The analysis shows a sharp jump in India’s egg and poultry meat production. Poultry meat has outpaced its two major competitors – beef and veal, and buffalo meat. Another major development in Indian poultry production is the spread of integration, which is occurring very rapidly, especially in broiler production, both in southern and western parts of India. The forces that are sustaining this growth are many. High per capita income growth and relatively low prices have played a catalytic role. A moderate shift in the consumption pattern from vegetarianism to non-vegetarianism is also helping the industry by increasing the demand for poultry products. The future outlook for Indian poultry also appears to be very favourable. The most conservative estimates predict a two- to three-fold increase in poultry production over the next ten or fifteen years. However, a worrisome feature of the accelerated growth and the ongoing structural change seems to be its potential impact on the future of small and marginal producers. While several studies on the theme have contended that vertical coordination in agricultural supply channels helps to lower the transaction costs and market risk of smallholders, it has proved difficult to support the contention in the case of poultry. Drawing on an earlier study conducted by the first author, it is shown that contract farmers earned lower profits than non-contract farmers. In this study, we draw three alternative scenarios and trace their implications, using the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook AGLINK-COSIMO model. First, we assume that import of maize, the main feed ingredient, is liberalized. Second, we study the consequences of import liberalization of poultry m

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