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Poultry group enters processed chicken market

Among India's top players in poultry breeding, hatchery and feed business, the Rs8.5 bln Calcutta-based Amrit Group is set to enter the processed chicken market, with 50% of the products targeted at exports.

The company's products will be processed and marketed under the brand Fresco Pollo, or fresh chicken, with the target of achieving a turnover of Rs10 bln during the current fiscal year, a top official at Amrit Group said.

"It's a huge market [chicken processing] and there are not many players. In India, only a minuscule portion of chicken is processed," said Amitava Sarkar, the company's business head for food processing. He plans to keep 50% of processed products for the domestic market and to export the rest, although exports will begin only in another 8-9 months. 

The product will be initially launched in Kolkata followed by Delhi and its neighbouring areas, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur, Siliguri, Bangalore and Darjeeling. Some "signature shops" are also planned for 2011.

Regarding the initial target of export, Sarkar said the company would initially look at Asian countries like Japan, China, Malaysia, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and later the Middle East and Europe.

He said the consumption of chicken per capita per annum was 2.2 kg in India, which was minimal compared to global standards. "This protein intake has to go up in the country," he said, adding only 1-2% of slaughtered chicken was further processed in India.

The machinery for the unit has been flown in from Britain, Germany and Spain, he said, adding that the group is also constructing a modern abattoir in Durgapur at an investment of Rs400 mln.

Source: India News Post

Natalie Berkhout

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