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Strategic poultry processing: a road map to poultry marketing and development

Division of Livestock Products Technology,Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar(U.P.)-243 122
Email: [email protected]


Planners in India visualized sustained growth rate of 20% for broilers and 10% in eggs considering advantages of poultry production. However, in the recent years poultry prospects have come under scrutiny as producer prices are quite often affected and sustained production at the projected rates has become doubtful inspite of increasing demand for poultry products all over the world and lower per capita consumption in India. Though the input costs have not increased much but output returns have decreased in the recent years, resulting unremunerative farmer prices and closure of many farms. At time even large scale integrated farms also unable to make reasonable profits. How to sustain growth in poultry sector remained important consideration for poultry strategists.

Reduction in consumer prices of poultry products through minimizing the effect of middlemen as viewed by some may not be the major factor to generate demand but, providing hygienic product and increasing the number of consumers and consumption per consumer would certainly generate market demand. Growth in demand for the product is an important criteria to sustain production which is generated by successful marketing. The essential principles of successful marketing are: good presentation and attractive appearance; diverse products suitable to taste and demand; competitive price per unit weight; quality assurance; reliable servicing; ethical aspects and effective advertising.

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Production target: With successful scientific adoption of poultry production unlike other livestock species in India, the onus lies on poultry sector to provide adequate poultry meat and eggs to meet the targeted animal protein availability of 20 g per person ( as targeted by Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of agriculture, GOI) as against the present availability of 10 g. A rough estimate indicates poultry meat production to be increased to 3-mt and egg production to 100 billion. How is it possible from the present juncture of unsustainable returns to poultry producers even at the present levels of about 1mt poultry meat and 40 billion eggs. It is easier to produce extra quantities but difficult to market the surplus. Hence, the need for a road map for poultry marketing and development with approaches hither to untapped.

Strategic poultry processing has the potential as an alternative for poultry marketing and development when promoted appropriately. Development of further processed poultry products with relevant technologies adopted for different locations for easy distribution and marketing seems to be an important avenue for sustaining demand for poultry products. All over the world it is the further processed products industry that has contributed for increased consumption and better marketing with reasonable returns. India is no exception to this, however relevant approaches and strategies that can find favor and sustain in the poultry processing and marketing sectors are essential.

A national approach with a well laid out road map for poultry development giving higher priority for strategic poultry processing need to be undertaken if only poultry sector has to be given its due importance in ensuring the livelihood, food security and nutrition.

Multi-stage processing and marketing: The relevant strategies of poultry processing include both centralized large scale and decentralized small scale processing. Essentially, poultry is produced in niche areas having advantages and semi-processed poultry (dressed chicken, cuts and deboned meat and byproducts) are made available through out the country at a number of strategic places for further processing and marketing on a small scale. In turn, these units provide semi-processed products in the strategic market area to cottage/retail processors to produce a variety of value added products that can find favor in a specific area with due consideration to consumer preferences, incorporation of locally available ingredients and assurance of expected quality to the known consumer.

A relevant technology and strategy would find merit only when middle class (constitute the larger proportion of population) households could afford to buy the meat and eggs and prepare products of their choice with ease and convenience and continue to explore ones own cooking skills to satisfy their unique requirements. While centralized processing of high value products largely adopting complex machineries and processing could continue to provide products to the upper and elite urban consumers, the relevant strategy need to aim at simple technologies that can draw the attention of a large number of small scale entrepreneurs to fully exploit the Indian Cookery to provide products of choice to a very large number of consumers. As the large scale modern technologies have equal number of demerits in the populous country with enough of food fads, it is only the small scale processing technologies that can satisfy the unsubstantiated preferences of a large number of consumers with varying socio-economic and ethnic implications in the vast country. Processing and supply of hygienic chicken in fresh and chilled form would continue to grow both on large and small scale as per the demand. However, the new strategies need to aim at frozen chicken primarily to absorb market fluctuations and increase demand for poultry products by increasing number of consumers, increasing per capita consumption and spreading marketability over a wider area, unlike the present urban and peri-urban areas.

Simple and relevant technologies: To meet the requirements of strategic processing a very large number of products could be produced to contribute for increased consumer demand using simple technologies. Researches have been done to produce chicken emulsion/mix using meat, byproducts and non-meat items to produce a range of highly acceptable products. Chicken emulsion/ mix could be produced at strategic centralized places involving appropriate technologies and distributed to multiple numbers of secondary units, which can process and market value added products to consumers both in fresh and stored form. Emulsion/mix could also be produced at secondary units, either from frozen meat items supplied from primary units or small scale processing of live or dressed birds. Third stage units which primarily function as retail units could also sell both value added products and consumer pack emulsion to consumers/house holds in the limited area with quality assurance.

Economic and consumer choice products: At house holds when emulsion or mix is purchased could be processed with additional ingredients of choice primarily condiments, spices, vegetables or other extenders to produce a variety of fresh products of their choice. Range of products that can be produced in house holds include nuggets, slices, patties, kababs, pakodas, croquettes, tikkas, Idli, Vada, dosa, samosa, spring rolls, pickles, soups, stuffed items like paratha, bonda, bajji etc. The products range would be infinite with varying culinary practices and rich heritage of cookery due to the large size of the country with multi-society and ethnicity. New products range could include a large variety of dietetic health products to meet the demand of modern consumer. Newer ingredient consumption could be facilitated through processed products.

Promotional efforts: A concerted promotional effort is required to initiate the concept of strategic processing and marketing of poultry, which could be a joint effort of all the stake holders, Government departments, Hatcheries, Poultry producers, Poultry processors, Feed, Equipment and health products sectors. An apex body such as the Poultry Development Board or Poultry Development Authority need to be established on priority basis to sustain poultry development for ensuring nutrition and food security to the masses. Sustained poultry development essentially contribute for fulfilling constitutional obligations under Article 47:

“ Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standards of living and to improve public health.”

Source : IPSACON-2005