The worldwide animal feed market is undergoing significant transformations, which are expected to accelerate in the coming decade. The worldwide consumption pattern is shifting toward a bigger proportion of animal products in people’s diets. As a result, more crops will be utilised for feed. According to the OECD-FAO, maize (corn) and protein meal (oilseed extractions) will continue to be the most significant feed commodities, accounting for 60% of global feed usage by 2030. Maize feed demand is expected to expand at a rate of 1.4 percent per year, slightly higher than the 1.2 percent growth predicted for protein meals.

Importantly, global meat consumption is moving toward poultry, owing to reduced chicken pricing in low-income emerging nations with price elastic demand. Demand will rise in tandem with rising earnings. Because of the cheaper price, product consistency, and greater protein/lower fat composition, chicken meat will account for 41% of all protein from meat sources by 2030. Disease outbreaks, sanitary regulations, and trade policies, for example, will all have an impact on the evolution and dynamics of the global meat industry. Poultry outperforms ruminants in solving these issues simply because poultry can respond to market signals faster owing to shorter production cycles.

Poultry genetics, animal health, and feeding techniques may all be improved more quickly. As the chicken industry grows, greenhouse gas emissions will decrease. Indeed, in the United States, young calves are ‘potty-trained’ in ‘Moo-Loo’ facilities to limit the transmission of greenhouse gases. These trends are certain to resonate in India, the world’s largest producer of milk and third largest producer of eggs. In the five years leading up to 2020, the yearly average growth rate in animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries was 8.6%. According to Livestock Census 2020, the overall number of milch cattle increased by 10.5% to 74.6 million in 2019.

Rising production

Milk output is expected to increase to 235 million tonnes (from 198 million tonnes in 2019-20) and egg production to 136 billion by 2022-23, according to projections (from 114 billion in 2019-20). In the next ten years, considerable rise in dairy output combined with feed intensification will result in a 2.4 percent increase in feed consumption. At the same time, as India transitions to compound feed-based animal production, protein meal consumption is expected to climb by 3% per year over the next ten years. This is the context in which the industry must investigate and develop a long-term animal feed market. However, such a market must be integrated into the ‘Sustainable Animal Agriculture Ecosystem.’ The sector has inherited a legacy ecology that does not value sustainability, and it must modernise in order to adapt to coming changes. A study of technology, services, standards, and legislation is required for this aim.

Land scarcity, water scarcity, climate change, low agricultural yields, a lack of technology infusion, and, last but not least, policy constraints face animal feed makers when it comes to procuring raw materials for feed. These obstacles must be overcome. Stakeholders in the animal agricultural industry encounter difficulties. Raw material/feed supply uncertainty, feed price volatility, demand variation, policy environment, and plant protein’s increasing incursions are some of the difficulties the sector will have to deal with.

Of course, there are some answers that the industry must be willing to adopt. Contract farming is the best option for ensuring raw material availability and access. Backward connections, particularly with FPOs (Farmer Producer Organizations), would provide price stability and access through scale efficiencies. Manufacturers’ bottom lines are frequently harmed by fluctuating feed prices. Hedging in commodity exchanges using derivatives is a tried-and-true approach of managing price risk. Forward contracts based on delivery might be investigated. 

While India’s widespread protein deficit will almost certainly increase protein intake as wages grow, the developing plant protein market may pose the greatest threat to animal protein. According to the author’s research on comparative protein cost, animal protein — whether milk, meat, poultry, or eggs — is far more expensive than vegetable protein. So, the fundamental question is whether animal protein can compete on a cost-to-cost basis with plant protein, particularly in a price-sensitive economy like ours.

Finally, the animal agriculture-based sector should have a clear vision for the next ten years. The research of the market and development of demand predictions, strategies to assure greater yields per milch animal, methods to enhance animal health and nutrition, calculation of the number of layers and broilers required, feed need, and vaccination requirement are all priorities. Because the sector has the potential to attract foreign direct investment, upgrading skills to stay up with global trends, establishing enough processing capacity, and investing all demand special attention.