‘Give a missed call and become a poultry farmer’ says Suguna Chicken
Suguna Chicken, a division of Coimbatore-based Suguna Foods, is using a ‘missed call’ campaign to recruit more contract farmers for its poultry business.
Possible new poultry farmers can give it a missed call, according to a press release from the poultry conglomerate, a pioneer in contract farming.
It is the country’s first such initiative by a poultry company. ‘Suguna Foods is the only company undertaking such an initiative,’ said a spokesperson for the company.
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To assist farmers
Suguna Chicken, which has over 40,000 farmers in the country, will support its contract poultry farmers from the time a bird is hatched.
According to the spokesperson, the company was founded with the goal of ‘energizing rural India,’ and it has improved the lives of many rural households.
‘We’ve always had a good relationship with our farmers’ community, and they’ve been with us for over three decades,’ the spokesperson said. ‘We’re even more excited to work with more farmers and look forward to mutually beneficial growth.’
The company, which is one of the top ten global poultry companies, did not specify how many farmers it hopes to recruit through the campaign. It operates in 18 Indian states and provides a variety of poultry products and services.
Strengthening the bond
‘Through this initiative, Suguna Foods intends to strengthen its relationship with its existing farmers’ community and more,’ a spokesperson said.
The initiative’s purpose, according to the spokesperson, is to strengthen ‘our connection and engagement’ with the farmer community.
Through the initiative, the fully integrated firm with broiler and layer farming, hatcheries, feed mills, manufacturing plants, vaccines, and exports hopes to promote sustainable farming. ‘Furthermore, it serves as an additional tool for farmers to independently reach out to us without the assistance of third-party interference,’ the spokesperson added.
According to industry sources, the initiative could be aimed at expanding the company’s network of contract farmers who supply chicken, particularly at a time when a segment of the industry is demanding higher pay.
A small poultry farm owner who did not want to be identified said the initiative will make it easier for poultry farmers to approach the firm for contracts.
‘This could also be a move to attract new farmers in light of a segment agitating for higher pay.’ Until 2020, these farmers were paid a minimum of ₹3.50 per kg as a ‘growing charge’ for a bird. Following that, the payment was increased to ₹6.5 per kg. ‘If the contract farmer takes good care of the bird and feeds it properly, they can get up to ₹12 per kg, though they usually get between ₹8 and ₹10,’ the farm owner explained.
The ‘growing charge’ incentive is intended to ensure that no feed or other inputs supplied by the firm are misused. Also Read | Godrej Agrovet, IB Group cut poultry feed prices as govt let more import of soymeal.
Scarcity of birds
‘Now, those contract farmers are complaining that the payment is insufficient,’ the farm owner explained. The development comes at a time when the poultry market is experiencing a bird shortage. ‘Due to the scarcity, live bird prices have risen to ₹130 per kg. Prices have been ruling above ₹110 since March, compared to ₹80 a kg at one point last year,’ the farm owner said. Input costs range from ₹100 to 105 per bird, owing to increases in soyameal, maize, and edible oil prices.