Indian poultry industry has undergone a paradigm shift in structure and operation. The journey from mere backyard activities into highly specialized commercial approach is outstanding achievement. Indian poultry sector represents various diversifications with conventional backyard poultry rearing to highly mechanized intensive poultry rearing with an advanced technology and is characterized by a mix of small (low input-low output), medium (medium input-medium output) and large (high input-high output) farms. With a growth rate of 10-15 per cent as against 1.5-2.5 per cent for agricultural crops, this sector is posting an annual turnover of 10,000 million dollars and satisfying the hungers of 20 million people through employment. Around 4 lakh farmers are engaged in poultry farming activities with 85 per cent of them having less than 2 ha of land or the landless. Urban demand still accounts for 80 per cent of domestic consumption. It strives to contribute about 11.7 per cent of the livestock and 0.77 per cent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country. In 2014, country has registered a 6 per cent rise in production and this contributed around Rs. 58,000 crores to the Gross National Product. The organized poultry sector is contributing nearly 70 per cent of the total output, with the rest from the unorganized sector. Within the poultry sector, two-thirds of the output (about 66.7 per cent) is contributed by the broiler sector and the other third (about 33.3 percent) by egg production (Bhanja et al., 2017). While layer farms are scattered especially in rural areas, the commercial broiler farms are mainly concentrated around urban and peri-urban areas.
South India accounts for majority of total poultry production and consumption in the country. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in the west and Haryana, Punjab in the north are key regions in this aspect. Currently, more than 85 per cent of total egg production and 60 per cent of broiler production are from improved poultry birds in the organized sector. A network of about 600 hatcheries, feed mills, veterinary pharmaceuticals, and equipment manufacturing units has made poultry a dynamic agri-business in the country. In order to meet the ICMR-NIN recommendations of per capita egg and meat consumption, the volume of existing business must expand four and six fold respectively (Bhanja et al., 2017).
Role of ICAR-CARI
This growth story of poultry won’t be possible without the contribution of government organizations like ICAR-Central Avian Research Institute. Central Avian Research Institute (CARI) was established on the 2nd November, 1979 at Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to provide all-round support to the growth of poultry sector. Since, its inception, this Institute has been playing an important role by providing need based R&D to support for diversified poultry production, processing and marketing, apart from Post-graduate education, training and technology transfer activities for augmenting productivity, production and profitability of the Indian poultry sector and also has its regional centre of the institute at Cuttack (Odisha) was established on 26th July, 1992 and was subsequently shifted to Bhubaneswar during October, 1998.The Institute has played a pioneering role in transforming backyard poultry farming into a several billion rupee ago-industry. The precious germplasm developed by ICAR-CARI needed to be popularizes in masses, so that marginal framers can also be part of this poultry revolution and helps government to achieve its target of doubling the farmer’s income.
In the success story of CARI, germplasm played pivotal role. Details of which are given below
Commercial layer chicken
The Institute has developed and propagated two commercial layer chicken varieties well adapted to diverse climatic conditions in the Country.
Dual purpose chicken
The institute has developed a medium-size, dual-purpose bright plumage colour chicken suitable for rural /family poultry.
Low input desi chicken variety
Four high yielding desi type chicken varieties suitable for backyard/ small scale poultry farming have been developed especially suitable for different climatic regions of the Country. These birds look like their original native breeds with about three times more egg production, bigger egg size, better tropical adaptability and disease resistance along with capability of bearing the stress of sub-optimal feeding and management.
In poultry sector impressive growth has been achieved in the intensive poultry farming in India, but the rural poultry sector remained rather stagnant. The native chicken varieties adopted in free- range backyard conditions for centuries contribute about 11% of total egg production in India (Kumaresan et al., 2008). Due to their low productivity (annual egg production: 50-60 nos.), their contribution to the total egg output was almost static for the last few decades. Therefore, the consumption of eggs in rural areas is far below the national average egg consumption. Increasing the genetic potential of the local native chicken varieties greatly helps in increasing the availability of poultry meat and eggs in rural areas. Having realized the importance of backyard rural poultry farming (RPF) in India, several research organizations developed different backyard chicken varieties. More emphasis for popularising these varieties should be initiated urgently for the benefit of masses. Current article is also small step in this direction,
For regarding bird details contact numbers are listed below:
1MVSc Scholar, ICAR-Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar-243122
2 Scientist, ICAR-Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar-243122
3MVSc Scholar, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar-243122
ICAR- Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar, webpage https://icar.org.in/cari.
Bhanja.S.K, Rokade.J.J, Gopi .M 2017. Stress and welfare: Concepts and Strategies for addressing Current Challenges in Poultry Production
Kumaresan, A., Bujarbaruah, K.M., Pathak, K.A., Chhetri, B., Ahmed, S.K. and Haunshi, S., 2008. Analysis of a village chicken production system and performance of improved dual-purpose chickens under a subtropical hill agro-ecosystem in India. Tropical animal health and production, 40(6), pp.395-402.