M. Somasekhar

Hyderabad, Dec. 20

DIAMOND Hatcheries, one of the leading players in the poultry sector from Andhra Pradesh, is investing Rs 6 crore in setting up a separate palletised feed plant for its poultry birds near Medchal on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

It has floated a separate company named Diamond Hitech Poultry Feeds. The project, expected to commence production in February 2006, is being fully financed through loans from the Syndicate Bank.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Diamond Hatcheries, Mr G. Ramesh Babu, told Business Line that the company has placed an order for a pellet mill from China. "There is cost advantage to import from China and the mill is expected in next month."

Of the Rs 6-crore finance being sourced from Syndicate Bank, Rs 4 crore would be towards machinery and infrastructure building. The balance Rs 2 crore would be for meeting working capital expenditure, he said. In the beginning the plant would be operated to meet the demands of the company, whose daily consumption is 80 tonnes. In future, plans are to sell at least 20 per cent of daily production in the open market.

Referring to Diamond Hatcheries' core strength of providing broiler chicken birds, Mr Ramesh Babu said its efforts at contract farming were yielding good dividends. "We have built up a capacity of 12 lakh birds through contract farming. Monthly, we can now sell 5 lakh birds. The main districts for sourcing are Medak, Mahboobnagar and Ranga Reddy," he said.

Mr Babu, who is also an executive member of the AP Poultry Breeders Association, said the poultry sector is facing tough times with the subdued prices in the domestic market and the high production levels. Hitting the export market is a necessity and luckily there are signs of it happening. The Japanese reportedly have made moves to import some products from India.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 21, 2005)
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