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Urban demand boosts egg, chicken output in Karnataka

The districts leading in broiler chicken production include Bengaluru Rural, Tumakuru, Kolar and Chikkaballapur. Ballari, Chitradurga, Davangere, Raichur and Koppal produced the most eggs.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 22:33 IST

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Bengaluru: In 2022-23, poultry farmers produced 33 per cent more eggs and 32.5 per cent more chicken meat in Karnataka than they did in 2018-19, according to data accessed by DH from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. Growing demand in urban centres has contributed to the increase, say experts within the agriculture-allied activity. A more organised sector and progressive technologies have also contributed to the rise in production. 

The districts leading in broiler chicken production include Bengaluru Rural, Tumakuru, Kolar and Chikkaballapur. Ballari, Chitradurga, Davangere, Raichur and Koppal produced the most eggs. In all, the state produced about 90,000 lakh eggs and 1,79,908 tonnes of broiler chicken in 2023. 

“What we have been noticing over the past few years is an increase in demand from cities. While the consumption of meat was limited to annual feasts following festivals, nowadays, many families are able to afford meat about 2-3 times a week,” says K S Ashok Kumar, a poultry farmer and trader.

He added that the proliferation of restaurants and changing attitudes about eating out have also contributed to the demand in urban centres.  

Though the sector has been expanding at an impressive pace, Kumar recognises that there is more room to grow. India’s per capita consumption of protein is only 8 per cent of that in developed countries and this has only marginally changed in the last 60 years. 

India’s protein intake falls significantly short of the 48 grams per day recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research. For an average Indian adult, the recommended dietary allowance of protein ranges from 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. Despite this, the average protein consumption is approximately 0.6 grams per kilogram of body weight.

“Chicken also is a more popular source of protein and one of the cheapest when compared to other sources like mutton or pork,” he adds. 

The sector has also benefited from automation and an increase in the quality of feed. “Over the past 6-7 years, the quality of feed has really increased. Housing technology has also reduced the need for human labour. Banks have started recognising that poultry businesses is profitable. It is easier now to get a loan,” says Pradeep Reddy, a poultry farmer based in Hosapete. As a result, in the recent past, many farmers have turned to the poultry sector. 

“Ultimately, growth has been driven by demand, while it has been supported by technology, conversion of feed and scientific technology,” says K M Gurumurthy, deputy director of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. 

Cyclical demand 

Though demand for broiler chicken and eggs has been on an upward trend, Kumar says the market is ‘complicated’ — having seasons of high demand and periods of lull. 

Lent, for instance, observed by Christians, starting from March and stretching through April, is one such period. Other months that Hindus consider sacred can witness such lulls as well, including Shravana. 

Additionally, poultry demand increases in the summer and decreases in the winter due to religious festivals when many people avoid consuming meat or eggs. This results in surplus production and, consequently, lower prices. Calibrating production based on demand is essential for maintaining profits, he explains. 

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Published 21 June 2024, 22:33 IST

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