Sustainable Upgradation of Indian Meat and Poultry Sector

INDIA - FACE (Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence) organized its first Meat and Poultry Summit, in partnership with the Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India, keeping in view the opportunities and challenges faced by different stake holders in the meat and poultry supply chain.
calendar icon 1 March 2013
clock icon 5 minute read

The Summit offered a platform for sharing of knowledge and best practices and for providing relevant inputs to policy makers in taking forward the initiatives aimed at developing the meat and poultry sector.

Livestock contributes about 25 per cent of the gross value added in agriculture sector and provides self- employment to about 21 million people. Rapid growth of this sector can be even more egalitarian and inclusive than the growth of the crop sector because those engaged in this sector are mainly smallholders and landless. With the growth of livestock output that averaged at 4.8 per cent per annum during the 11th Five Year Plan, this can provide a major boost to the sector that caters to value added products.

Addressing the Inaugural Session of the 1st Meat and Poultry Summit, Rakesh Kacker, Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, said that there is a very strong need to improve the skilled manpower base to achieve sustainable development of the meat and poultry sector. The single largest problem is affordability and people prefer unprocessed meat because it is cheaper. While the industry is able to meet the stringent standards when it comes to export, the same is not maintained in the domestic market. He also mentioned the role of Ministry of Food Processing in supporting the development of infrastructure, scientific abattoirs, cold chains and various financial assistance schemes through which the Ministry supports both private and public investments in the meat and poultry sector.

The National Meat and Poultry Processing Board (NMPPB) has been geared to address the challenges and opportunities that lie in the meat and poultry processing sector. Of the ten modern abattoirs spread across the country that have been approved, two are already functional and the other three will be operational in the next few months. Mr Kacker congratulated CII – FACE for taking a lead by organizing this Summit and bringing different stake holders of the Meat and Poultry Industry together.

G C Pati, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Government of India, stated that livestock is a critical source of income for small and marginal farmers together with crops. While a lot of incentives exist for the dairy sector not much has been made available for the development of the meat sector. While the dairy sector was developed by the pioneering efforts of NDDB and the poultry sector was promoted by private sector efforts, similar interventions are needed in developing the small ruminants sector that has a large potential. He also highlighted that the existing slaughter houses need to be upgraded and appropriate technology to be brought in to increase the productivity and profitability of both the farmers and the industry. The government is trying to reach effective extension services to the field through progressive farmers who in turn reach out to other farmers. In this context, CII can help a significant role to help design an effective mechanism along with the industry partners and government as to how to take this agenda forward.

Earlier, welcoming the Minister and the dignitaries on dais, Salil Singhal, Co-Chairman, CII National Council on Agriculture, drew the attention of the delegates to the fact that CII has been sensitizing industry Indian Food industry on the significance of various linkages in the supply chain and need for GMP, HACCP and vital components which are very critical for improving the quality and also the safety of the food products. He also drew an interesting example of how the Chinese farmers despite having smaller holdings compared to their Indian counterparts, have had access to sustainable income, primarily because of investments in livestock in addition to crop farming. It is in the interest of the farmers and the sector that similar crop and livestock patterns be developed on the farm levels to ensure sustainable sources of livelihood and income, particularly given the high dependence of the crop sector on monsoon and susceptibility to climate factors.

Bhupinder Singh, CEO, Vista Processed Foods (OSI Group) pointed out that the meat sector which is stilling evolving will require hand holding to be sustainable and competitive. From learning how to debone meat, the industry has come long way. Hygiene standards and conditions are quite poor and inadequate in the unorganized sector which needs to be addressed and improved.

The Inaugural Session concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Dr A.K. Rajput, Head – Corportae Affairs, Suguna Foods Ltd. & Executive Director, All India Poultry Association. He thanked the special guests, invited speakers, dignitaries, and sponsors for making this Summit a success.

The Summit was attended by several international and domestic delegates and faculty members, from various Central and State Government officials, FSSAI, Commodity Boards, Food chain captains and key decision makers, Certification Bodies, Consumer bodies, Academic and Hotel Management Institutes. It was a privilege to have Mr Walter Padula, Hon’ble Minister, Industries, Transportation & Mining, Argentina to deliver a Special Address on the Overview of the Meat and Poultry Sector in Argentina.

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