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Alchemist Foods plans expansion of its food processing unit

Alchemist Foods Ltd is planning to expand its food processing centre in Barmajra in Chandigarh. The project involves setting up of brownfield and a greenfield expansion by increasing its existing capacity from 24000 birds a day to 50000 birds a day. Currently, the demand for chicken which stands at 2.5 kg per person per year is set to increase to 5 kg per person per year. The company is planning to set up the greenfield unit in eastern region where the demand is high. The company also plans to expand its retail outlets under its flagship brand "ROC" Republic of China.

Dairying – should we scale up or not ?

In India, dairying is carried out mostly as a subsidiary activity, with farmers using their family as labour and get free food for cattle from common grazing land. Further, he manages a maximum of 5-10 cows and milks twice. These mini scale dairying forms the bulk of Indian dairy output which is 110 million tonnes comes from 70 million farmers. This is in contrast to European or American model, where there are large farms which yields somewhere near 1 million kgs. However, making dairy as an industry will result in price fluctuations and any meltdown in price will quicken bankruptcy. So if Indian dairy has to scale up, it will be better off with 25-30.

Pepsico expands contract farming

Pepsico which had been procuring its agri products through contract farming is expanding its activities to various states. The company has contracted with 6500 farmers in various states for procuring potatoes and it plans to increase the numbers to 11000 this year. For the farmers, it is a win-win situation as they get half the price for potatoes in lean time. Currently, Pepsico procures 30,000 tonnes of potato from West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra.

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