Agri Business

New opportunities in egg sector

G Chandrashekhar Mumbai | Updated on October 09, 2014 Published on October 09, 2014

Friday is World Egg Day and India has reason to celebrate. With production in 2013 estimated at 69.7 billion, India is the world’s fourth largest egg producer.

Despite expanding output of protein-rich foods – milk, poultry, eggs, pulses, soyabean, and peanuts – protein use in the country has declined gradually in the last two decades.

Estimates suggest that protein use has declined from 65 gm a day in 1985 to about 55 gm currently. Fears that the country’s nutrition security is under threat are gaining ground.

With about 14 per cent average protein content, eggs are perhaps considerably less-expensive than milk or poultry meat as a protein source. With rising affordability and access to a wide variety of foods, people are now more willing to eat eggs. The current per capita availability of eggs is a little over 50, rather low by western standards where the average is 300.

The Indian Council of Medical Research recommends 180 eggs as the per capita average that simply translates to a huge untapped potential. Currently, less than 10 per cent of the eggs produced is processed, primarily for export.

Consortium approach

Across the country, egg production takes place in clusters and small producers dominate. Those operating in clusters (for example Namakkal in Tamil Nadu) should explore a consortium approach to input sourcing and output marketing. Branding is nearly absent. One or two players have begun to brand their eggs and have met with some success. Newer market opportunities are also emerging; for instance, organic eggs.

Talking to BusinessLine, R Kannan, Marketing Manager of Kemin Industries South Asia, a solution provider for human and animal health, summed up the importance of eggs thus: “The egg is a perfectly balanced food that meets a variety of nutritional requirements and is affordable and easily available. According to the National Institute of Nutrition, consumption of just half egg a day contributes to maintaining good health. Hence, it is beneficial to make egg a part of daily diet.”

Published on October 09, 2014
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