Fiscal Stimulus for Dairy, Aqua and Apiary - Poulty sector to be atma-nirbhar

As part of, on paper, fiscal stimulus of INR 20 Lakh Crores (USD 280 Billion) announced to help industry overcome Covid carnage, Finance Minister of India announced a slew of measures for Animal Husbandry segments on 15th of May 2020.

Poultry Industry - the most atma-nirbhar (self reliant) segment of animal husbandry was completely overlooked as has been the case for many years now. Driven largely by private initiatives and entrepreneurial spirit, Poultry segment has actually gained from lack of government oversight in the past, and is more than used to this step motherly treatment.

Here is a look at what was announced for different animal husbandry segments:

Livestock - National Animal Disease Control - Outlay of INR 13,343 Crores (USD 1.8 Billion)

An ambitious project, originally announced by PM, Mr. Narendra Modi on 9th of Sep 2019 and now included in the fiscal stimulus on 15th of May 2020 - this proposal aims at vaccinating 530 Million Livestock (cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs) for FMD and Brucellosis.

Such an outlay (USD 1.8 Billion) on FMD and Brucella disease control should have companies lining up to participate and help government achieve its objective. However, this project in operation since close to a decade now (at lower scale and varied form) hasn't excited global companies.

With participation limited only to Indian Immunologicals (NDDB Venture), Brilliant Biopharma and Biovet Limited only. MSD India (owns former BAIF, FMD plant in Pune) isn't actively participating in this opportunity so are none of other international vaccine companies.

Aquaculture - Administrative relaxations and outlay of INR 20,000 Crore (USD 2.6 Billion)

  • Though belatedly, Government extended the validity of Sanitary Import Permits for import of Shrimp Broodstock by 3 months

  • Registrations of 242 Shrimp Hatcheries extended till 30th of June 2020

  • Fiscal stimulus envisages an investment of INR 11,000 Crores (USD 1.4 Billion) on integrated, sustainable and inclusive development of Marine and Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Investment of INR 9,000 Crores (USD 1.2 Billion) on development of Infrastructure, cold chains and marketing activities for promotion of fisheries and aqua

These outlays and activities are expected to an additional 7 Million Tons production of fish and aqua for exports as well as domestic market

Apiary / Beekeeping - Outlay of INR 500 Crores (USD 70 Million)

Bee keeping / Apiary in India has remained a small and largely unorganized segment, the ongoing pandemic has brought focus on health and wellness and hence increased demand for honey.

Government proposes to invest money and resources in integrated infrastructure development. collection, marketing and storage centres and value added products. Aim is to support an estimated 200,000 bee keepers and also support agriculture through cross pollination.

It remains to be seen how effective these measures are in stemming the estimated 25% decline in demand for milk and milk products, chicken meat and eggs as country remains under extended lockdown.

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