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Kerala Feeds targets 50% market share in Kerala

Published in Corporate Saturday, 16 March 2019 14:12

 

 

 Kerala Feeds Ltd envisages a 50 per cent share in the state’s cattle feed market in the next two years with an annual turnover of Rs 500 crore in the 2020-21 fiscal, according to the PSU’s managing director Dr B Sreekumar.

The 1995-incepted company has been instrumental in averting a possible reign of private firms in the field, much to the benefit of the state’s dairy farmers. Even so, it is “wrong rumour” that KFL is enjoying subsidy from the Kerala government, Dr Sreekumar said. KFL doesn’t go by any financial grants from the government, instead it is powered only by the working capital it has as a PSU.

The company, headquartered in Kallettumkara near Irinjalakuda, had clocked a profit of Rs 75 lakh in the first quarter of the current financial year, but the August 2018 floods checked the momentum.

In changed focus, KFL distributed free cattle feed to dairy farmers in seven of Kerala’s 14 districts. The company did not increase the price of its product despite unexpected financial burden in the aftermath of the monsoon calamity. Though the prices of its raw materials rose by 35 per cent, KFL implemented a mere hike of Rs 25 per bag of cattle feed — that too only after the dairy farmers had begun to resettle after the deluge.

Such minimal price hikes have generally been the policy of KFL, ensuring that cattle feed does not become expensive for the farmers in the state.

The three factories of KFL produce 1,250 tonnes of cattle feed that hits the market daily. The breakup goes thus: 650 tonnes from the Kallettumkara plant besides 300 tonnes each from the plants in Karunagappilly (of downstate Kollam district) and Kozhikode in north Kerala. Once the upcoming 500-tonne plant at Thodupuzha in Idukki district becomes functional, the total KFL production will go up to 1,750 tonnes.

All the plants follow the Italian technology that skips human intervention at any stage of production. Manual labour is involved in just packing and loading-unloading.

KFL is Kerala’s only cattle feed manufacturer that ensures quality by checking the product in all four stages. The PSU alone has a laboratory set up to examine raw materials and a team of expert doctors who ensure nutrition content of the product.

Of late, a rise in the prices of raw materials has affected KFL’s performance. Maize, which is the main input of its products, largely comes from the states of Bihar, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. The union government’s cattle protection schemes have led to less arrival of the input from these states to Kerala. KFL’s dependence on other states is working against its benefit, following which the PSU is planning to launch programmes in association with the National Cooperative Dairy Federation, Dr Sreekumar informed.

For more on this, KFL has initiated discussion with the Centre, according to the PSU’s chairman K S Indusekharan Nair. The company is also trying ways to end buying raw materials through an e-tender called by the Karnataka government; instead acquire them directly, he added.

KFL turned a new chapter earlier this month by opening a bypass protein plant at Kallettumkara. Set up with technical aid from the National Dairy Development Board, the plant guarantees better-quality cattle feed and ensures that the product will have the capacity to retain proteins by more than a third in the body of the animal. That leads to increased production and quality of the milk.

 

 

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