India’s farmers search for feed substitutes

03-09-2012 | | |
India’s farmers search for feed substitutes

India’s poultry farmers are turning to guarmeal and other feed substitutes in face of soymeal’s soaring cost, the Hindu Business Line reports.


They have started using guarmeal, cottonseed de-oiled cake, rapemeal, sesamum cake and groundnut meal as substitutes for fish oil and soyameal.

“We are using it on a trial basis. Farmers and feed manufacturers are seeking these commodities as an alternative to soyameal to bring down the production cost of feed, especially since the return for the poultry sector is low,” said M. Murali, head of Krishna Poultry Farms in Namakkal that houses around 500,000 layer birds. Feed costs account for one-third of the production cost of production.

Guarmeal is being used as a binding agent in feed formulation for its free-flowing, coarse-texture, non-transgenic properties. More importantly, guarmeal is free from salmonella, E. coli and aflatoxin, industry sources said.

“Guarmeal is comparable to soyameal in terms of nutritional content. When mixed with feed formulation, guarmeal can be given at 5-7% of total feed production for layers. In broilers, the recommended inclusion rate is 5-7% for starter feeds and 5-12% for grower feeds,” Murali said.

The Soyabean Processors Association of India report that the price of soyameal was US$404 a tonne in August last year against US$735 now.