India has an estimated population of around 3 Crore pet animals such as dogs, cats, birds, etc. The pet population in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9% over the next few years. As the number of pet animals in India is growing at a rapid pace, the demand for pet food in the country is also increasing rapidly. Though some pet animal owners feed the animals with homemade food, many prefer processed food from outside.
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India needs 30,000 tonnes of pet food on average. However, India faces a shortage of pet animal food, as the current players in pet animal food processing are not able to meet the growing demands in the country. The shortage of pet food in India once again came to the foreground after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.
The Need to Scale Up Production
Highlighting the scarcity of pet food in India at a webinar, O P Chaudhary, Chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India, advised the industry to ramp the production by availing the credit facilities under the Rs. 15,000 Crore worth Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Scheme for setting up animal feed manufacturing facilities. Under the scheme, the government provides credit up to 90% at lower rates to individual entrepreneurs, MSMEs, Farmer Producer Organizations and Section 8 companies.
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Opportunities for Small and Medium Industries
Currently, the pet food industry in India is dominated by large scale players. The pet food processing is still an unexplored segment to small and medium enterprises. India imports 45-50% of pet food to meet domestic needs. The cost of the imported pet food is relatively higher than the food manufactured domestically. The higher price of pet food in India is making it unaffordable to many pet animal owners in the country. Therefore, there exists a lot of scope for MSMEs in pet food manufacturing, particularly in dog food manufacturing as dogs account for more than 70% of the pet population in the country. Apart from pet food manufacturing, fish food manufacturing, cattle feed manufacturing, etc. are some other areas that offer great business opportunities for small and medium scale enterprises in the country.
India has a large availability of raw materials required for the processing of pet animal food in the country. India is one of the leading producers of meat and food grains which can be used to manufacture pet food. So, setting up a pet food processing industry is a profitable business idea in India for small and medium scale enterprises.
However, starting a pet food manufacturing industry is not an easy task as it requires several licenses and approvals to be taken from the government authorities. So, it better to consult an expert while setting up the pet food manufacturing unit.
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