"Strength of a nation" is going to be the key word in a global village. An Indian poultry industry has the inherent potential to become the world- leader. Recently, I had read an article on world poultry business, in " World-Poultry " an international magazine of poultry business. A survey was conducted to study the prices of eggs and prices of poultry feed in 45 countries. The prices were converted into U.S. dollars. Conversion ratio that is an index of conversion of feed into eggs was given due weightage. In was certainly an in-depth study of poultry business in the world. The report points out that eggs are cheapest in India, even though feed costs are not cheapest.
Increasing demand :- Inspite of propaganda raised by organizations promoting vegeterianism and inspite of threat of salmonella and cholesterol, world poultry industry is expanding, as the population is increasing. Per capita consumption is also increasing. Not only that, many countries which are not traditionally poultry - growers are giving incentives to their poultry industry. Indian Government is also giving incentives to this industry by giving incentives to small poultry farmers as well as poultry industry in organized sector as poultry industry generates employment and also provides proteins to masses. Many countries have to import feed for their poultry industry. India is lucky. We export 24 million tonnes of soyabean cake to Europe, which is the main ingredient of poultry feed. We can export eggs or chicken meat instead of soyabean-cake.
Organic chicken: - Traditionally many poor people are raising poultry in their back yards. These rustic chickens and eggs fetch higher price in local market. There is a good market for such organic products in developed countries. They call it " free range birds ". Health conscious consumers prefer organic chickens to commercial chickens raised unnaturally. Consumers are worried about anti-biotics used during raising.
They are also raising voice against size of cages used for raising birds. Poultry industry in developed countries is going from one crisis to another. First there was fear of Salmella and cholesterol. Then there were out-breaks of diseases. Millions of chickens has to be burnt due to scare of diseases. Hongkong and Taiwan poultry industry has recently faced this problem. Belgium poultry industry faced a different type of crisis. Their feed was contaminated. Consumers all over the world are demanding quality products at cheaper prices. Particularly in developed countries. As such, poultry industry is facing problems of falling profit margins.
Many countries are exporting eggs at prices lower than production costs. Poultry industry with high investments in these countries is under threat of extinction. Many countries have saved their poultry industry with a ban on imports. In a global poultry bazaar, Indian eggs are cheapest. 50 cents a kg. At the other end, eggs are costliest in Argentina with price of 145 cents per kg. The prices of eggs in different countries are as follows. U.S.A. 80 cents, France - 102 cents, Holland 86 cents, Japan 127 cents, New Zealand 136 cents, Taiwan - 108 cents, Great Britain 102 cents. In near by Sri Lanka 58 cents, Bangladesh 117 cents and Pakistan 87 cents. In other words, any-body who comes to India, will find eggs as cheapest in the world.
Major costs as production of eggs are for the feed. The feed cost for producing one kilo of eggs is lowest in Zimbabwe, it is 18 cents. Feed costs are highest i. e. 45 cents in Philippines. In India the figure is 44 cents. In U.S.A. it s 15-50 cents. The costs in other countries are as follows Pakistan 25 cents, Sri Lanka 24 cents, France 25 cents and Great Britain 27 cents.
We can reduce the cost of feed. India is gifted with natural sunshine, cultivable land and sufficient rains. And there is millions of unemployed. Even by providing water to thirsty lands, we can make poultry feed that can be sufficient for the world poultry. Even by controlling post harvest losses of food grains we will be able to feed world poultry and world dairy.
France, Holland and Britain have kept feed prices unnaturally at high levels and taken protective measures by restricting imports. And they have kept egg- prices at lower levels.
They are protecting their poultry industry from foreign competition by these protective measures. Chinese poultry industry is the largest in the world. Egg prices are 94 cent a kilo and feed cost is 27 cents in China.
Day old chicks: - If you want to purchase day old chicks, come to Sri Lanka. At 29 cents a chick, Sri Lanka is cheapest. And New Zealand is most expensive at 172 cents. The rates in other countries are as follows: - India 39 cents, Canada 76 cents, U.S.A. 47 cents, Britain 70 cents, Japan 132 cents.
16 weeks chicks: - Some growers purchase 16-week-old chicks and raise them. Prices for such chicks in different countries are as follows:- China 168 cents, Japan 667 cents (highest) , India 228 cents, Sri Lanka 235 cents, Pakistan 274 cents, Britain 359 cents. We can supply 16-week chicks to Europe, if free economy is really free.
Indian overview:- Indian poultry industry is on cross- road-Considerable progress is already made but we have to go miles Most of the global brands are available in India, still there are some opportunities for technology transfer particularly organic brand. And processing is as good as non-existent. There is a great potential for exports which is yet to be tapped.
Future of popularity industry depends on Government and Indian entrepreneurship!