IIL ventured into the animal feed and nutrition business in line with the plan of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to deliver the National Dairy Plan which contemplates bridging the growing demand-supply gap for milk in our country by targeting a milk output of 180 million metric tons by the year 2020 by focusing on increasing productivity of milch cattle.
Feed constitutes the most important factor affecting the productivity of milch cattle. Dairy cattle in India are mostly fed crop residues and a small amount of concentrate ingredients. The quantum of the concentrates fed is dependent on their availability and price rather than on nutritional requirements of the animal. These practices have restricted the milk production from dairy animals whose average milk output remains much below their genetic potential. Imbalanced feeding has also negatively affected the reproductive cycles of the dairy animals. Consequently there are lengthier calving intervals which again negatively affect the milk output. The concept of providing the dairy animal with nutritionally balanced feed in accordance with its physiological states such as growth, pregnancy and lactation is yet to be accepted and assimilated by the dairy farmer.
Against this backdrop IIL deemed it appropriate to get into the cattle feed business with the objective of providing scientifically formulated feed at affordable prices. The animal feed and nutrition business of IIL began operations on the 1st April 2011 by taking over NDDB’s feed plant at Rajkot in Gujarat. The plant has an installed capacity of 200 tons of feed per day. It also has facilities for the production of bypass protein and mineral mixture. The plant is currently engaged in the production of quality cattle feed for milch animals, area specific mineral mixtures, de-wormer feed pellets and Calcium granules It has introduced new feed variants to cater to the specific nutritional needs of calves, buffaloes and high yielding animals.
The takeover of the Rajkot animal feed and nutrition plant marks the first step in IIL’s foray into the feed business. It is expected that this business will contribute significantly towards improving the productivity of dairy cattle in India by providing scientifically formulated and balanced cattle feed.