Agri Business

Boost egg consumption, handle sustainability issues: IEC Chief

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on October 11, 2019 Published on October 11, 2019

Suresh Rayudu Chitturi, Chairman of the International Egg Commission   -  K_R_DEEPAK

Push poultry sector to increase output and improve efficiency, says Suresh Chitturi, the first Asian to head a global egg industry

An average Japanese eats 340 eggs per year. The Chinese consume 300 eggs per capita. What’s your guess on the per capita consumption of an Indian?

According to estimates, the per capita consumption is around 70 eggs per year, with a total production of about 84 billion eggs. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommends at least 180 eggs per head per annum.

While the adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was popularised to promote health, attempts are on to encourage consumption of “An egg a day for good health and nutrition”.

Taking into account the nutritional value of having an egg and the growth of the poultry industry, Suresh Rayudu Chitturi, the newly-elected Chairman of the International Egg Commission (IEC), wants to give a big push for the growth of the sector, keeping in mind the global environmental and sustainability issues.

Top priorities

In an interaction with BusinessLine, Suresh Chitturi, who took over the post in Copenhagen recently, said his top three priorities would be, one, to expand the IEC membership from the present 80 nations so that more poultry farmers, especially in the developing countries, can participate. Two, to create a comprehensive database on the nutritional value of eggs with an intent to increase its consumption in poor nations and, three, address the environment and sustainability issues, especially biosecurity.

Suresh Chitturi, currently, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Srinivasa Farms is not only the first Indian, but the first Asian, to head the London-headquartered IEC, which was formed in 1964. It brings together egg producers, processors and related industry players on one platform.

Exhaustive study

The IEC will soon form two scientific panels with representatives from the best universities in the world to undertake an exhaustive study on the benefits of eggs and the environmental aspects, related to production and sustainability. Efforts will be initiated to work more closely with the WHO and medical fraternity to highlight the nutritional value of eggs and to enable poultry industry bodies to deal with the rational use of antibiotics, anti-microbials, vaccines etc, he added.

Its important to realise that Japan, China and India drive the global egg industry, and Asia produces two-thirds of the world production. The Indian poultry sector, estimated to be about ₹30,000 crore, is growing at a healthy pace too and will soon be the second largest after China.

In the Indian context, the IEC Chief said: “the focus should be on promoting consumption of eggs in children, pregnant mothers and boost the overall per capita consumption. This will require some innovative thinking in terms of including eggs in a variety of snacks and in midday meals”.

As the Indian poultry industry grows, its emphasis should be on increasing production, improving efficiencies and ensuring bio-security concerns.

Better feed, reducing usage of antibiotics, ethical practices in production units, controlled houses and many more such initiatives need to be put in place, Suresh Chitturi feels.

Published on October 11, 2019
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