Dr N Mhonchan Shitiri
According to Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited, consumption of broiler meat and eggs is seen rising to- 5.2 lakh tonne ( up 11-13% on-year)and 150 billion (up 6-8%) respectively. The reason is improvement in rural demand, higher per capita consumption of meat, and increasing preference for protein-rich diet that is in poultry meat.
Globally, poultry meat is the fastest growing component of meat demand because of its healthy proteins and its acceptance as a white and unprejudiced meat by all caste and creed especially in India. Poultry sector contributes 1% to the National GDP in Livestock 14% GDP contribution and for which it is included in the industry sector as it is an economic activity that can easily convert raw materials and resources into useful goods.
Poultry farming is a general term where domesticated birds such as chicken, turkey, duck, geese and even pigeon/squab are reared as the cheapest animal protein source from backyard rearing to commercial farming. Besides, diversification in poultry entails rearing of semi-wild and game birds like emu, pheasant, quail, guinea fowl as meat purpose with medicinal values.
Poultry farming on a commercial scale in Nagaland is still nascent, except backyard and small scale farming which are very popular in both urban and rural areas which not only contributes certain amount of income but also provides quick protein source to a family. Poultry farming in Nagaland will occupy an important position due to its enormous potential to bring out rapid economic growth, particularly benefiting the weaker sections due to its low investment requirement and short generation interval and as a non-seasonal source of income.
Commercial poultry farming is a high yielding business- it does not require big capital, requires less space, less manpower and management, and because of high demand for its products, the return on investment can be quick, quicker than any other livestock investment. Its primary focus is on maximum production with less expenditure.
Poultry farming being a business oriented, it creates lot of jobs and marketing avenues like employment for those engaged in meat & egg production, hatchery, feed dealers, building materials, egg cases, delivery vehicles, processors of eggs and meat etc. An increase in per capita availability of one egg will generate 50,000 more jobs in India according to ICAR vision 2025. The per capita availability of eggs in Nagaland is about 22 per head per annum against the requirement of about 180 per head per annum- this shows the potentiality of the industry in Nagaland.
‘Prevention is better than cure,’ holds true in poultry farming and use of poultry diagnostics where various poultry diseases like avian influenza, fowl cholera, new castle disease, egg drop syndrome, infectious bursal disease, chronic respiratory diseases are detected early on- hence can be vaccinated or treated that can spur the market growth.
Further, poultry manure can increase the area of organic farming because it is a more concentrated source of crop nutrients, especially NPK and calcium. Being naturally organic, it does not need composting and can be applied directly to the fields from the farm. Which means to say nothing in poultry is a waste- from feathers to meat to droppings to egg shells is useful. And poultry farming is more environment friendly comparing to other livestock farming like cattle, pig, sheep, goat as it emits less green house gas like methane, nitrous oxide, though a poultry house is likely to have more gases like ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide.