1.Importance of feed in livestock sector
The success of livestock farming is largely dependent on the continuous supply of good quality nutritious feeds at competitive price. Feed alone constitute about 60-70 percent of total cost of production of livestock products. Therefore, it needs more attention though other factors are also important for remunerative return from livestock enterprises. The farmers used to feed the crop residues to the cattle and buffaloes, however, sheep and goat are normally maintained on grazing/browsing with supplementary feeding of broken grains/other bypoducts.
Therefore, feeding of balanced concentrate feed to these animals was not common, because of low productivity and unremunerative prices for the livestock products. The improved poultry is fed only with concentrated feed. The requirement of food of animal origin like milk, meat and eggs is increasing at a faster rate due to increased awareness about the significance of protective proteins for the maintenance of human health. The farmers realised the importance and started rearing good quality and high productive animals/birds under stall fed conditions.
Feed pellet making machine
2.Scope for feed industry
2.1 With the increased demand for livestock products for domestic consumption as well as export, the farmers realised maintaining of quality animals with proper feeding and management. The proportion of crossbred animals or improved strains of birds increased over the years. This has necessitated higher demand for balanced concentrate feed. Presently, various milk unions, poultry corporations/ federations and private companies are supplying both cattle and poultry feed of different qualities and forms (mash/ pellets/ crumbles) to the farmers.
Large size poultry farm/dairy farm owners, hatcheries and cooperative poultry units are normally manufacturing their own feed by installing the necessary plant and machinery on the farm. Some of the farmers are still feeding broken grains, cakes, gur, salt,etc. to dairy animals by mixing at home.
2.2 The compounded feed manufactured by CLFMA (Compounded Livestock Feed Manufacturers Association) members during 1998-99 was 3.16 million tonnes. The feed production under organised sector since 1965 is given in Annexure-I. The demand-supply position for various feeds is given in Annexure - II. The present supply is only half of the total requirement. Moreover, the demand for small ruminants (goat and sheep) under stall fed conditions, rabbits and pigs is not estimated. Considering their requirements, the gap is much more.
2.3 The feed production could not keep pace with the growth in various species of farm animals and poultry. To meet the growing demand of processed and complete feeds for different class of animals, the unconventional feeds should also be used in the rations through proper processing for removal of anti nutritional factors. Thus, it indicates that there is a good scope for setting up feed processing plants of different capacities for production of various quality feeds.
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