March 27, 2018
CLFMA: Feed security as important as food security for India
Ensuring feed raw materials are available at affordable prices at consistent quality year-round is absolutely critical for matching the growing feed demand in India, said B. Soundararajan, chairman of CLFMA of India, during his address at the FICCI India Maize summit 2018 in New Delhi, India.
"We are seeing demand surge in meat consumption in India and correspondingly, our demand for feed raw materials, such as maize and soybean, are increasing. In the last 10 years, maize demand was hovering around 20 million tonnes in India and it is expected to cross 36 million tonnes by 2025. So, we need to deliberate on how the shortage of 5-6 million tonnes, due to slow growth in domestic production, will be met" he added.
Maize is not only an industrial crop but it is also an important fodder crop as well. Hence, it needs to be given more attention by all stakeholders.
"We cannot afford to be complacent as malnutrition is the greatest challenge for our nation. Protein security is extremely critical to leverage our demographic dividend of being one of the few countries that have a big share of younger population" he said.
"It is also time for us to look at newer technologies including genetic engineering with a balanced and neutral perspective as we need to improve our productivity from the current low levels of 2.5 tonnes at least to touch the global average of 5.5 tonnes per hectare."
Poultry and livestock sectors consume nearly 70% of maize produced and sourcing non-GM maize particularly when India's domestic production falls short becomes an extremely difficult and expensive task.
"We need to look into this holistically with the aim to ensure both sides - farmers and consumers - stand to benefit. On one hand, we need to ensure meat is available at affordable prices and farmers need to get fair remuneration on the other. These can be done with appropriate proactive policy framework and matching budgetary allocations", Soundararajan explained.