Labour Shortage Makes India Look to Automation

INDIA - Automation of the poultry sector is the answer to the labour shortage.
calendar icon 6 December 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Shortage of trained labourers for various activities in the farm is driving poultry farmers to go for automation even though it adds up to their input cost, according to Hindu Business Line, citing a report from PTI.

"Poultry farm owners are worried over shortage of trained labourers, who are more interested in MGNREGA programme in their native place than feeding birds, collecting eggs and the disposal of manure, etc, in the farm”, Poultry Federation of India spokesman, Ricky Thaper, told PTI. Shortage of hands has pushed the wage demand too.

"One way out of this problem is automation," Mr Thaper said.

Poultry farmers, who have adopted full or partial automation at their farms, did hesitate in the beginning because of the capital investment. But, their experience is that automation costs less than labour cost when calculated over a period of five years, he added.

Good material used in poultry farms can easily last for 12 to 15 years, Mr Thaper, himself in the poultry business for past over two decades, said.

The cost of automation per broiler for a commercial broiler farm comes to around 80 to 100 rupees (INR) per bird, depending upon the level of automation adopted and company's brand, he said, adding savings in terms of feed wastage, labour cost, improved growth and efficiency at poultry farm are much more than this cost.

In India now, many national and international equipment manufacturing companies are offering the latest and most economical designs for automation for layers, broilers and broiler breeder farms, Mr Thaper added.

Hindu Business Line reports that the Indian poultry industry is worth INR200 billion and is expected to double in the coming years.

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