Agri Business

Kerala now self-sufficient in poultry meat

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 02, 2017

A poultry farm in Kottayam district. H. Vibhu   -  H. Vibhu



Growing business prospects and an increase in domestic consumption seem to have helped Kerala stop depending on neighbouring Tamil Nadu for chicken. God’s own country has now turned self-sufficient in poultry meat production, thanks to more people venturing into broiler chicken rearing.

Today almost 80 per cent of the poultry meat in the State has been met from farms within the State and the growth in domestic production has considerably reduced chicken arrivals from neighbouring states, says Binny Emmatty, State President of the Poultry Farmers and Traders Committee.

He cited the entry of integrators, low investments, minimal area to set up ventures, and self-employment finance options from banks as the reasons for a surge in poultry farming. With a demand of 60 lakh kg of chicken in a week, Emmatty told BusinessLine that Keralites are spending nearly ₹4,000 crore on poultry meat. The business potential in this segment has attracted many and there are at present more than three lakh poultry farms, employing nearly 8 lakh people.

For a 1,000 bird farm, he said a poultry farmer had to spend around ₹1 lakh and many of the owners opted to set up units behind their houses as a small-scale venture to avoid taxes.

Given the growth in the poultry industry, farm integrators see an organised market in Kerala and this is one of the reasons for strengthening domestic production, said TP Sethumadhavan, Director-Entrepreneurship, Kerala Veterinary & Animal University.

According to him, these integrators supply chicks, feed, veterinary aid and enter marketing tie-ups to rear birds.

The focus of the integrators on a market-linked production programme and adequate supply of inputs has attracted many people to poultry farming.

Post-GST boost

Besides the rise in demand for ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook chicken products, the recent cattle trade ban, religious taboos on certain meat products, elimination of 14.5 per cent VAT on chicken in the post-GST era should further encourage domestic production, he added.

Chicken consumption in India is growing at 11 per cent CAGR and as per a National Sample Survey Office report, per capita consumption in India is beyond 4 kg and unofficially, it was 10 kg.

However, Sethumadhavan is quite apprehensive of dumping of live chicken from neighbouring states in Kerala in the post-GST period as the cost of production there was 15-20 per cent lower. This, he said, may impact domestic production and the authorities should take necessary steps to prevent such trade practices.

On the recent increase in chicken prices in the Kerala market, Emmatty clarified that the drought in Tamil Nadu affected the production in hatcheries, leading to low arrivals of chicks for domestic production and a surge in the selling price.

Besides, the increase in feed prices has also led to an increase in the price to ₹145 per kg from ₹92 in April.

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Published on June 02, 2017
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