INDIA – India’s poultry supply chain is unorganised, uninformed and wasteful but can be upgraded through an agile supply chain.
This criticism is offered by a team of Indian academics who write that, although booming over recent years, the industry requires coordination and investment, with a strong emphasis on the internet.
Increasing affluence in India has boosted protein sectors with egg and chicken meat industries being a “major success story” of recent times, according to a study which appeared in the International Journal of Poultry Science.
The report says “Eggitarians” are a growing demographic, pushing egg consumption up 8-10 per cent each year with chicken meat consumption also rising.
"IT not only can help poultry farmers with the information of roof enrichment, feed selection, weather report but also demand-supply status of various poultry products as well."
The paper outlines a new plan for the supply chain, bringing in more knowledge, extension and overall flexibility.
The idea is to create a dynamic industry capable of reacting to modern markets.
The role of any supply chain, they say, is to deliver the right product, in the right quantity, to the right place, at the right time, for the right cost.
Further problems are a discrepancy between low producer prices and high retail prices, as well as a dearth of technology, supply and demand forecasting and financial support.
More storage is also called for.
The study defines an agile supply chain as: “An integration of business partners to enable new competencies in order to respond to rapidly changing, continually fragmenting markets.”
Most important to an agile supply chain working is process integration. This requires buyers and suppliers to cooperate, developing products together, sharing information and using common systems.
This is built on communication and structural relationships between stakeholders and hinges on the industry reacting quickly to market demands.
“Application of the process integration concept helps to find out the solutions for three sources of demand uncertainty in the poultry i.e., seasonality, growth life cycle and end-customer demand,” the report explained.
Role of Information Technology
Quick and less expensive than other communication modes, the internet needs to be installed on farms, the report said.
“IT not only can help poultry farmers with the information of roof enrichment, feed selection and weather reports but also demand-supply status of various poultry products as well,” claimed the study.
Big companies have invested in IT to inform storage and warehousing logistics, the report added.
Companies Leading from the Top
A pioneering foods company built a network of over 20,000 farmers in a contract farming/poultry integration model after poultry farmers had bought feed and medicines on credit and were unable to pay.
Over a 25 year period, Suguna foods has “mastered the art of cost and productivity optimisation”.
This is according a case study in the report which explained the process of animal nutrition and health support provided for farmers to help boost returns to settle debts.
Suguna owns feed mills, research centres, training programmes, processing plants, hatcheries and various supply chain management and efficiency indicators that help its farmers.
Whole Industry Insight
From an industry-wide standpoint, the National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) is striving to revolutionise poultry organisations so, like Suguna, a “platform” is provided to market product.
The report added that the Tamilnadu Poultry Farmers Association is providing the industry with daily market prices, weather reports and best farming practices, displayed online.
This incorporates data collected by the NECC from various universities and market centres.
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