December 6, 2017
India's CLFMA applauds National Action Plans for feed, livestock sectors
India's Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries (DADF) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, has released its National Action Plans which focus on various sub-sectors of the country's livestock industry.
These plans provide in-depth insights on each sub-sector - such as poultry and egg, feed and fodder, and meat of sheep, goat and pig - with a comprehensive roadmap to double farmers' incomes by 2022.
"For doubling farmers' incomes, livestock sector is indispensable. These national action plans on feed and livestock sectors by the DADF are truly commendable efforts in the right direction," said B. Soundararajan, chairman of CLFMA, the apex industry association representing India's livestock and meat sectors. "CLFMA wholeheartedly welcomes the government's proactive initiatives like these."
Soundararajan described the plans as "quite extensive and holistic" roadmaps.
"CLFMA represents the entire animal protein value chain and we are pleased to see such detail-oriented and comprehensive blueprints on each sub-sector. We find these documents aptly echoing and highlighting our key demands such as conducive policies for supporting entrepreneurship, skill building, investing in technology and cold chain infrastructure, promoting awareness on good farming practices," he commented.
Citing that poultry, egg and dairy sectors were given greater emphasis in the action plans, Soundararajan applauded the government's drive towards enhancing farmers' profits and said that "India's promising dairy sector needs more initiatives like Fodder & Feed Security Program – 2022 to transform itself to meet the fast growing demand for milk and milk products."
"We fully endorse the government's view that availability, quality and affordability of fodder and concentrates are essential for improving productivity of milch animals," he added.
Soundararajan also acknowledged that the action plan on egg and poultry addresses many critical issues including feed raw materials, technology and mechanisation.
"Feed accounts for more than two-thirds of the production cost of chicken meat. Hence, we fully endorse the government's keen focus on ensuring availability, prices and quality of these raw materials such as maize and soybean. Similarly, India's poultry sector has evolved and is fully ready for technology upgradation," he remarked.
On the livestock sector's contribution towards food and nutrition security, Soundararajan said: "It is a shared responsibility and CLFMA is committed to work with all the industry stakeholders including government, for effective implementation of these action plans."
Reflecting upon what else would help propel the industry's growth, he opined there are a few issues that are to be addressed on priority. "Quality feed is the necessary prerequisite to improve animal productivity particularly in dairy and its affordability is absolutely critical here. However, currently oil seeds and oil meals attract 5% GST, which adds to the overall cost of production of scientifically manufactured compound feed." He further added that exempting both will help make compound feed more affordable.
"Ultimately, farmers will be benefitted as animal productivity improves significantly with the use of balanced and nutritious feed," he said.