Plans to open three more processing units

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, April 21

Suguna Poultry Farm Ltd, which registered a turnover of Rs 1,100 crore in 2005-06, has targeted to achieve a turnover of Rs 3,000 crore by 2010.

The company targeted to achieve a share of 20 per cent in the broiler market from the present 14 per cent. It expected that the size of the market would grow from Rs 8,000 crore to over Rs 16,000 crore by 2010.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Mr B Soundarajan, Managing Director of Suguna Poultry, said the company expected a change in trend of retail sales in favour of processed chicken meat in the next three-four years.

"Except Indian and Pakistan markets, all other markets prefer the processed meat," he said.

Keeping in mind the unfolding opportunity in the processed meat, the company planned to open three more units, each having a capacity of 10,000 tonnes a month. It would invest Rs 20 crore on each unit. At present, it has one at Coimbatore.

Talks with Reliance

The company was in talks with Reliance, which would be launching a nationwide retail network. If talks fructify, Suguna's processed meat would be sold in the Reliance's outlets.

The company, which exported 15,000 tonnes of frozen poultry meet to the Middle East through Supreme Suguna, also found huge opportunities in Japan and the Europe Union.

With regard to access to EU, the company expected to achieve a breakthrough in the next six months.

The company runs over 11,000 farms, through contract farming route, in the Southern, Eastern and Western region. "We will be accessing Punjab and Haryana markets in a big way soon," Mr Soundararajan said.

Bird flu

Mr Soundarajan said farmers who were associated with the company were not at all affected by the recent crisis, triggered by reports of bird flu in some Maharashtra farms. The integrated poultry farming method we adopted insulated the farmers from the vagaries of the market fluctuations. They are not burdened by the working capital, marketing and distribution. We supply them day old chicks to the farmer and provides feed, medicines and vaccines. We take back the birds after six weeks and pay the farmer Rs 5 on every bird as growing charges," he said.

This helped the farmers under the Suguna network shrug off the present crisis. But it did cost the company. "It made a dent of Rs 45 crore in two months," he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 22, 2006)
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