A Step Forward for the Meat and Poultry Sector in India

India's meat industry took a step forward when the National Meat and Poultry Processing Board (NMPPB) was set up earlier this year. The article focuses on the current state of the industry and what the next priorities in its development will be.
calendar icon 3 November 2009
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The Government of India launched a National Meat and Poultry Processing Board, an autonomous body on 19 February 2009. The Board will be funded by the Government of India for its first two years and is managed by the industry itself. This apex body is launched to work as a national hub for addressing all key issues related to meat and poultry processing sector for the systematic and proper development of this sector.

The Board would serve as a 'single window service provider' for producers/manufacturers and exporters of meat and meat products, in order to promote and regulate the meat industry, as a whole. It will lead to a large number of employment opportunities. It is also aimed to help rural farmers to increase their income.

The Board will also help industry to utilise slaughterhouse waste materials, set up quality control laboratories for meat and meat products, promote meat manufacturers to adopt Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems, ISO-9001: 2000 standards, help industry to create and disseminate data, train workers and technicians and work as a central and National hub to address meat-related issues.

The Meat and Poultry Sector in India

"India's meat production is just two per cent of the world's total"

Despite the potential of its large livestock population, India's meat industry has not taken its due share. Although India has acquired number one status in the world contributing around 15 per cent of global milk production in 2007-08, meat production is comparatively low at just two per cent of the world's total.

The processing status is one of the major key issues of concern in the meat sector of India. Quality and hygiene levels are very low along with tremendous waste of meat, contamination/deterioration of meat and there are concerns over animal welfare.

It is believed that the Indian poultry industry is 5,000 years old but it is only in the last four decades that it has begun to witness remarkable growth from backyard to poultry industry.

The organised sector of poultry industry contributes nearly 70 per cent of total output, while the remaining 30 per cent comes from the unorganised sector. The broiler industry is well dominated in southern states in our country with nearly 60 to 70 per cent of total output coming from these states. The layer industry once again is represented more in southern states especially, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, which produce nearly 70 per cent of the country's total egg output. Three-quarter of India's egg production is consumed by just 25 per cent of the population living in urban and semi-urban areas. Presently, about 800 hatcheries are operating in the country.

India has emerged as the only country in the developing world with a self-reliant, technology-driven industry with the capability to produce every essential input for successful poultry farming, including indigenous genetic resource and breeding, world class poultry vaccines and medicines, specific-pathogen-free eggs (SPF), farms and hatchery automation systems, pelleted feed, egg processing, poultry processing, nationwide network of disease diagnostic laboratories and facilities for entrepreneurial development and training in both private and public sectors.

Rural poultry production constitutes important component of agricultural economy in India, with small poultry producers capable of a greater contribution to the alleviation of malnutrition, poverty and unemployment. Spectacular progress has been made in progressing from subsistence to a sustainable production system. Indian backyard population increase has only been 16 per cent in the last 30 years from 60 to 70 million. In China, 76 per cent of total egg output originates in rural backyard production. India requires both mass production as well as production by masses.

"India produces 3.6 per cent of global egg production"

India produces 3.6 per cent of global egg production, i.e., 61 million tonnes. The annual growth rate of egg is between five and eight per cent. India has the lowest cost of egg production in the world at 2.55 US cents per egg.

Poultry production and consumption in the domestic market are predicted to grow significantly in the coming years. Indian poultry industry has been a major contributor to the food-processing sector in the country. From backyard activity to major commercial operation, the poultry sector has undergone a paradigm shift.

Presently, 100 per cent of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted in the food processing sector. FDI in food retailing – covering dairy, poultry, marine, vegetables and fruits – might help the entire food processing industry to grow.

Poultry farming in India has transformed from a mere tool of supplementary income and nutritious food for the family to a major commercial activity generating the required revenue. The growth of the industry with steady production of 1.800 million tonnes of poultry meat, 40 billion egg per year and employment generation of about three million people indicates the future prospects for the industry. Changing food habits, rising income of the middle class Indian, the presence of private players, rising market demand for Indian poultry produce in the export market are among the factors contributing to the growth of the industry.

Although India has abundant raw materials, a vast network of manufacturing facilities all over the country, and a large and skilled labour force, further development is hampered by poor infrastructural facilities, inadequately developed links between R&D labs and industry and a lack of awareness about hygienic practices. As a result, the Indian mat and poultry market stands in a low position in respect to the global markets.

The Ministry is exploring opportunities like setting of mega food parks, modern abattoirs, improvised processing units, providing added incentive to develop existing projects while taking care of the changing consumption patterns. The integration of development in contemporary technologies such as electronics, material science, biotechnology etc. offer vast scope for the rapid improvement and progress and opening of the global markets for Indian companies.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on the future of India's meat industry by clicking here.

November 2009
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