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Abstract

The study examines the current feed use in the rapidly-growing Indian poultry sector and evaluates the potential economic impact of using biofortified maize with higher levels of amino acids as feed. Data collected from 185 poultry firms of South India form the empirical base. A significant share of broiler firms were found using amino acids in quantities above the recommended levels with negligible production and negative profitability effects, demonstrating a clear dearth of managerial skill to obtain and utilize information on poultry nutrition. A linear programming model for estimating the least-cost feed formulation showed that the potential economic impact of biofortified maize is limited by the availability of low-cost protein from the alternative sources, and that the potential cost savings from the technology would be marginal. Similar findings were obtained from additional estimation done by relaxing the assumption that the firms have perfect information on feed formulation. Also, lack of awareness of the small-scale firm management regarding poultry nutrition could pose additional challenges in the development of innovative maize-poultry value chains for diffusion of this innovation.

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