The growing dairy cattle and buffalo segment in India is firmly on the Belgian company's radar, said BK Chew, Asia Pacific director, Nutriad.
Nutriad recently announced some new hires in its ambitions to increase its presence in India, appointing Anand Srivastava and Thiyagarajan Rajaram as area managers covering the Indian subcontinent.
Chew said Nutriad is also aiming to increase local production of
some additives in its portfolio in India in Q4 2017. “The idea is to bring in the base material – in concentrate form from Belgium – and then blend it down locally,” he told us.
He said the company’s quality and production standards will be strictly adhered to such blending operations, and its intellectual property confidentiality is not at risk. The move also allows Nutriad to lower import duties, with India’s levy rates on feed additives high compared to neighboring markets, said Chew.
India has recently emerged as one of the largest and fastest growing compound feed markets in the world, certainly in Asia Pacific, said Nutriad. The feed sector is growing at a CAGR of 8%, with poultry, cattle and aqua feed sectors emerging as major growth drivers, it reported.
Broiler feed is still the largest segment, but aqua feed is growing rapidly. However, challenges that could curb growth in the compound feed industry there include disease outbreaks and the volatile livestock product prices. Further investment is needed in animal genetics as well, noted the Belgian firm.
The value of the Indian market for milk and milk products is forecast to increase by 15% annually, said National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) chairperson, Dilip Rath, at a dairy conference last month, according to the Economic Times.
India’s agriculture minister, Shri Parshottam Rupala, spoke about the need for better quality feed inputs at a NDDB workshop last month.
With the hike in demand for milk, productivity of dairy animals needs to increase, he said.
To ensure quality in feed production, India requires qualified, trained labor, efficient plants and machinery along with technical expertise to produce the right type of feeds, said the minister.
He also launched NDDB’s interactive knowledge platform on various aspects of compound cattle feed production at the workshop – it includes data on least cost formulation for feeds, suppliers of feed ingredients, raw material specifications as well as a discussion forum to share information.
Partnerships in Cambodia, Malaysia
Nutriad is also attending VIV Asia 2017 in Bangkok this week, where it said it will unveil new alliances in Cambodia and Malaysia.
Chew said the company would also report on its latest findings into imprinting or linking in piglets, tied in with a product launch in its palatability line at the trade show.
Imprinting is a technique involving the preconditioning of flavor preferences in piglets by prenatal flavor exposure through the maternal gestation diet. The strategy is deemed beneficial during the stressful weaning period for piglets. The idea is that partiality for a flavor could help motivate the young animals to consume more solid food at weaning, thus boosting their welfare, and reducing early weight loss.