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Strategy for Commercial and Back Yard Rural Poultry Production in 21st Century in India

G. Shyam Sunder, M.V.L.N.Raju & S.V. Rama Rao
Project Directorate on Poultry, Hyderabad .

In less than three decades, India has made a commendable progress in egg (34000 millions) and meat (600 millions) production (1998) to reach the 5th and 19th position, respectively, in the world. The targets set for egg and meat production for 2000 and 2015 AD by the poultry industry are enormous but achievable. The input requirements particularly those of feed, processing, marketing, export etc., have to be adequately provided to sustain the growth of commercial poultry farming. Special attention has to be paid by all the concerned to enhance the production of maize and other cereals along with oilseeds. Export of feed material should be considered only after meeting the domestic needs. Integration of production operations is an important aspect that needs to be exploited advantageously, as did other Asian nations for assured price and market for the poultry produce round the year.


Although the growth of poultry industry has been spectacular with an annual raise in egg production by 16% and broiler production 20%, there are several challenges ahead to sustain this rate of growth in the next millennium. One of the most important inputs is the availability of feed ingredient for poultry. However, other cereals like jowar, bajra, ragi, korra etc., should also find place in the rations at higher levels. Production of these cereals should be increased through integrated system by providing hybrid seeds, fertilizers and other agriculture inputs required besides assuring the price for the producer. Export of feed ingredients should be minimum and the internal needs must receive the priority over the exports. While increasing the production of feed ingredients through innovative agricultural technologies, it is also important to enhance the utilization to the nutrient of the feed through supplementation of enzymes. Emphasis should be laid on the nutrient of the feed through supplementation of enzymes. Emphasis should be laid on the breakdown of nonstarch polysaccharides, phytic phosphorus, fiber etc., through specific enzymes. Enhancement of feed quality through pelletisation and extrusion process should be attempted in a larger way. Breeders have a challenge to produce lines with better feed efficiency than those that are available at present. There is a scope to improve the feed efficiency by about 15% over the existing level.

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In the states where egg and meat production is high, integrators should be the order of the day and emphasis should be laid for producing high quality products for export. In medium production states, priority should be given for making the egg and meat available within the country. The low producing states should seriously consider for adopting cooperative system to promote small farm units and so take up rural poultry farming to meet their own requirements of these products. In remote hilly regions like NEH, rural poultry with low input costs will be the ideal proposition for future.

Although NECC has been actively involved in stabilizing the prices of eggs through involvement of poultry farmers, poultry businessmen and hatcheries, there is a need for an APEX body to monitor the growth of the industry and rural poultry farming simultaneously. A National Poultry Development Board on the lines similar to NDDB should consider acting as a liaison between the poultry farmers and the policy makers.

Rural poultry farming can co exist with commercial farming. Germplasm specifically developed for this purpose by research institutes should reach the rural / tribal households through non commercial agencies like KVKs, Animal Husbandry, NGOs, VDOs, Poultry Cor­poration, SIRD schemes etc.