7 October 2022 - India’s livestock industry is undergoing a rapid transformation, in tandem with positive macroeconomic and demographic trends, the CLFMA (Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers of India) said during its annual symposium that took place last week.
“Change is the only constant. India’s livestock industry is undergoing a transformation, in tandem with positive macroeconomic and demographic trends”, Mr. Neeraj Kumar Srivastava, chairman at CLFMA, said. “Our current focus is the adoption of modern solutions to overcome existing and upcoming challenges. We appreciate the government’s approachability, which is allowing for faster growth of the industry.”
Commenting further, Mr. Srivastava said: “The Indian animal agriculture industry is at Rs. 12 lakh crore. The majority of growth is from dairy and poultry. India is ranked first in milk production, and second in freshwater culture. Livestock is expected to grow to 37% of agricultural GDP by 2030.”
The top three challenges the industry is facing are concerning volatility, marketing and disease control. It is creating pressure on profitability, CLFMA said.
“The first is volatility seen in two crops which form 75% of the total cost of animal feed. It creates pressure on our profitability. The second challenge is marketing. There are no clearly defined go-to-market strategies. Now, many producers have started their own branding and I strongly feel that branding is going to shape the future of our industry”, Mr. Srivastava said. “Finally, disease control is proving to be a difficult hurdle. Lumpy skin disease is killing a lot of cattle. Outbreaks of viral diseases like bird flu and seasonal diseases are affecting growth”.
The CLFMA chairman also warned that climate change and global warming are hurting livestock industry profitability on a large scale.
Mr. Srivastava said: “Climate change and global warming are leading to unexpected situations. Erratic rains and floods are affecting crops, leading to low availability and low quality of grains. It is affecting the overall performance of the livestock industry. We expect this to affect us more in the future.”
During the symposium, Balram Singh Yadav, Managing Director of Godrej Agrovet, highlighted data on growth in production and efficiency over the last two decades. He shared the optimism of the industry, reflected in a CAGR of 7.5% this year.
“The next decade is going to be explosive. Investments in animal husbandry will outstrip any industry. Our contribution to agriculture GDP will grow from 37% to 50% in the next 5-6 years,” he said.
Also, Jatindra Nath Swain (Secretary, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department - AHD) said consumer demand is shifting to animal proteins, with a projected 4x rise in consumption by 2047. He urged the participants to adopt sustainable solutions to water and electricity consumption.
Amit Saraogi, Managing Director of Sarawagi Agrovet, added: “Our industry has seen unprecedented price hikes for crops like soybean and corn. There is a strong need for unbiased and robust data to prevent unfavourable situations from repeating.”
Tarun Shridhar, former Secretary, AHD, advised, “Rather than offering subsidies, an enabling policy environment and infrastructure support will nurture entrepreneurs and promote growth. We need to capitalise on our vast land resources, address our productivity issues and plan for changing consumer demands. We must also guard against misleading advertisements. Digitalising, and having a consolidated voice for the industry will be vital going forward.”
To tide over long-term challenges CLFMA said that we need to plan for sustainable and rapid growth of the industry while using resources cautiously.
“We need to plan for sustainable and faster growth of our industry while using resources cautiously. Today, the industry is still in a nascent stage. We began with a focus on food security, and then food safety. We have made tremendous progress on both and are now looking at food quality,” Mr. Srivastava said.
“We have an opportunity to feed India’s 1.35 billion citizens. There is a gap in protein intake in the country. It is lower than the recommended levels. Animal protein will supply this need and future demands for the growing population.”