Role of feed and nutrition for livestock production is as essential as management or animal itself but its fiscal contribution surpasses all other aspects. A good nutrition plays a significant role for optimum production and in my opinion, on a scale of 1 to 10, it has rating of 7. Since last two decades science of nutrition, both in humans and animals, has taken centre-stage in the field of research, rather it is considered more important than pathological or medicinal aspects of production and life.
History of poultry feed manufacturing in Pakistan has also developed with the poultry management practices. In the beginning, commercial poultry farming was introduced by PIA in collaboration with Shavers - poultry giant of the commercial poultry industry. Feed manufacturing was started in 1962 by another multinational, Lever Brothers under foreign tutelage; Dr. Schnider was the first consultant nutritionist in Pakistan while Mr. I.A. Khan (B.Sc. Bio Chemistry) who at that time was working in the Nutrition Department of College of Veterinary Sciences, Lahore (now University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences) was his assistant. They started first commercial poultry feed mill at Rahim Yar Khan at the centre of Pakistan. Pioneers of Pakistan poultry industry perhaps thought that from this place they could deliver feed to every corner of Pakistan more efficiently. As in the beginning poultry farming was concentrated in Karachi; therefore, second feed mill was built in Hyderabad in 1964 by Wazir Ali Industries (WA Feeds). Mr. Riaz Chaudhry (MSc Bio Chemistry) from CVS was the nutritionist while Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhry (Baba-e-Poultry) was the first veterinarian in the field of poultry nutrition to act as his assistant. It is very interesting to note that Wazir Ali Industry was business rivals of Lever Brothers in the field of cooking oil (ghee) and soap. They followed the same path of feed manufacturing but eventually stopped their feed venture within few months.
To provide feed in Punjab Late Mian Mukhtar (elder brother of Mian Mumtaz) constructed a feed mill, Ani Feed in Gujranwala in 1967. The late Dr. Naseer Butt was the first full time veterinarian nutritionist; Dr. Abdul Ghafoor, Dr. Tariq Anjum and Dr. Zia Qureshi joined Ani Feed as his assistants. In 1968 Aftab Feed was built in Karachi by Mian Aftab; but later on changed its name to Mehran Feeds and Dr. Waheed Shah was production manager with Late Dr. Nawaz as his assistant. (Before both of them founded their own feed mill company in Karachi, Shah Nawaz Feeds in 1980, Late Dr. Nawaz started a feed mill in Multan, Cheeko Feeds.) Then to meet growing demand of poultry feed, especially in Punjab, two new feed mills emerged, Ravi Feeds in Lahore and Al-Fatah Feeds in Faisalabad in 1969. Dr. Akhtar Sheikh joined Ravi Feeds and Dr. Tanveer Alvi joined Al-Fatah Feeds as nutritionist while Professor MB Sial was consultant at Al-Fatah Feeds. In 1970 Ghazi Feed was constructed at Faisalabad and Dr. Tariq Anjum was nutritionist in the same feed. Almost at the same time Chaudhry Niaz had also started his operation of feed manufacturing under the name of Niaz Feeds.
Incidentally owners of Ani Feed, Aftab Feed and Ravi Feed are close relatives. Out of all these pioneers only Pak Feeds still produce poultry feed and all other mills cease to exist except that building and plant of Mehran Feeds in Karachi is still present but they are not producing feed anymore. Finally in early 2008 Ravi Feeds has also stopped their business and their feed mill is also waiting for a customer or dismantling.
It is pertinent to mention that when in 1969 Ani Feed achieved the sale of 3000 bags per month, there was a big celebration. A big party was arranged to celebrate this huge occasion. This occasion is being quoted to form an opinion about the magnitude of the industry during those times.
During this decade Kays Feed also started manufacturing and selling commercial feed in Karachi under the leadership of Mr. Khalil Sattar. Although K&N's group is among the largest producer of day old layer chicks but they are no more manufacturing feed for commercial sale as Kays Feed has stopped its operation. Mr. Khalil Sattar who is among the surviving pioneers of the poultry industry has also started his chicken processing unit, Value Chicken in Lahore. It is relevant to mention that this unit was pioneered by a Belgian based company but they sold their operation to Mr. Khalil Sattar and very recently this group has restarted manufacturing feed for their own use in Lahore as Adil Feeds.
In 1973 Munnoo family built its first feed mill, Karachi Feeds in Karachi under the leadership of Late Mian Bashir with his four sons, Mian Khurshid, Mian Naseer, Mian Shakil, Mian Jamil and his brother Mian Munir. In the early seventies Nice Feed was started in Faisalabad by Dr. Ghafoor, Haji Ilyas, and Mr. Iqbal but later on Dr. Ghafoor, Mr. Fayyaz and Mr. Iqbal started their own feed mill, Avis Feed in Faisalabad. During these years, people started to accept commercial poultry meat and eggs as acceptable food, otherwise people generally didn't rate eggs and meat produced by the commercial poultry as wholesome food or some even considered it as un-Islamic. With the acceptance of people, demand also increased; hence it resulted in remarkable growth of the industry. Many new companies emerged; Gama Feeds by Dawood group in Burewala, Pano Feeds in Mansehra, Silver Feeds in Karachi, Sindh Feeds in Karachi by Late Sheikh Anwar, Dawn Feeds in Karachi and Hi Feeds in Gujranwala. At the same time, small time feed mills also emerged in different areas of Pakistan for self production. Concept of home mixing also came into being, especially in Karachi. Few mills with simple mixing and grinding units were built with stock of ingredients in hand and farmers came with their own formulations, bought the material from the mill and then they used the facility to prepare the feed on specific milling charges. During this decade Kamalia, Arif Wala and Ghakhar emerged as big poultry centers especially for layers and many small scale feed mills were also appeared in these areas to cater for local requirements. In this decade the pioneer of poultry feed industry, Lever feeds closed their business forever.
In nineteen eighties, more feed mills were constructed all over Pakistan; Olympia group started their second feed mill, Punjab Feeds near Sheikhupura. Few other names to mention, Kohinoor Feed (it changed its name to New Sind but again adopted the old name till last news) and Feroze Feed in Karachi (first ever mill built on turn key basis by famous international company Van Aarsen of Holland). At the same time, many small mills (Faran Feeds, Makran Feeds, Shan Feeds, etc.) also appeared in Karachi with the home mixing facilities but all of them disappeared from the scene. Dr. Ghafoor again started a new feed mill, Supreme Feeds in Faisalabad in partnership with Mr. Zahid. In Punjab, Hi Tech, National, SB, Islamabad, Big Bird and Asia also emerged and have now developed into huge groups and leaders of the industry. Umda feed was founded by late Dr. Naseer Butt in Gujranwala but didn't last long. In the same decade Olympia group built yet another feed mill, Lahore Feeds on Multan Road, but another feed mill with the same name, also began its operation in Lahore by Chaudhry Anwar and Dr. Saeed but later on they closed their operation under heavy debt. Now this feed mill has been purchased by Sheikh Noor Elahi and currently run very successfully by his son Shahzad Elahi. Con Impex of Multan built a small feed manufacturing unit in Multan but later on built a larger semi-automatic mill also in Multan.
From 1990 onward growth in poultry sector was on tremendous scale despite few setbacks but it is significant to mention that during this period balance of growth greatly tilted in favor of Punjab region instead of Karachi and Sind. Many groups had tremendous expansion not only in feed manufacturing but also in their breeder production. Hi Tech group, National group, Olympia group led the race in feed production and became poultry industry giants closely followed by SB group, Asia Feed group and Islamabad group (all in Punjab). Although, Hi Tech group has split into two groups recently, Hi Tech and Shahzor, but Hi Tech Feed Mill at Raiwind still has the distinction to be the largest feed mill in Pakistan with the capacity to process 75 tons of feed per hour. National group built Punjnad Feeds in Okara area and most recently they started another feed manufacturing operation in Sahiwal, Supreme Feeds. In the early part of this decade Pioneer Feeds also started its operation in Lahore by Sheikh Akbar of Kohinoor Feeds, Dr. Idrees and Late Dr. Shaukat Butt but it also closed its operation in the same decade. Now this factory is operated and owned by Mr. Fargham Toor of Sutlej Feeds. Later on Pioneer Feeds reappeared in Karachi. Quality, Capital, Khushal, Hi Grow, Chakwal feed mills were also built during this decade on small scale as compared to others in Islamabad area while Crystal feed mill, a second project of Chakwal Feed in Multan, Chenab Feeds other feed mill of Asia Feed in Okara, Shamim Feeds in Bahawalpur, Shabbir Feeds in Multan, Himalaya Feeds in Rahim Yar Khan, Kashmir Feeds near Lahore, Kausar Feeds in Okara, Crescent Feeds in Lahore, Sutlej Feeds at Multan Road near Lahore, Rustam Feeds in Samundri are also few names worth mentioning. Despite the fact that most of the growth in poultry industry is happening in Punjab area but few new feed mills also emerged like Marjan Feeds and Qaswa Feeds in Karachi and A-One Feeds in Hyderabad. Numerous other small feed mills all over Pakistan also appeared and disappeared regularly.
Shahzor group (now named as Sabir's) has erected and started Multan Feeds near Multan while Sharif Feed by Sharif's (Shahbaz Sharif family) has also commenced its commercial operation. Hi Tech and SB group are currently in the process to build new feed mills in Sahiwal, both feed mills are planned to manufacture 120 tons pellet feed per hour. Big Feed has also build a new feed mill tower at the old location and currently producing feed from new facility.
Some new feed mill plants are under construction in Punjab; Dawood Feed by Pakasia group near Pattoki and Khawaja Feeds in Multan, both of these plants are expected to start production within this year. OK Feed (Van Aarsen Pellet Mill C750) by OK Oil is being also constructed near Pattoki. Dr. Ghulam Nabi of Asia Feeds too is planning to build a new feed mill in Karachi along with Mr. Nabi Bakhsh of Sind Feeds, moreover Dr. Aslam of Islamabad group is planning for a new feed mill in Okara area. Younger brother of Dr. Sadiq, Mian Javed who recently separated from SB Poultry to start his own brand as Jadeed Chicks is also assembling a feed mill near Khanewal. These feed mills are expected to commence their operation in 2010.
I would also like to mention few names for their commendable contribution to poultry feed business:
Nutritionists: In the senior generation Late Dr. Saleem Qureshi and Dr. Malik Yaqoob had provided guidance to this industry during its infancy in the field of nutrition along with Late Dr. MB Sial. Late Dr. Naseer Butt, Dr. Abdul Ghafoor, Dr. Waheed Shah, Dr. Tariq Anjum, Dr. Samar Arshad, Dr. Akhtar Sheikh, Dr. Zia Qureshi, Dr. Tanvir Alvi, Dr. Musaddiq Asif, Dr. Iqbal, Late Dr. Shabbir Baig, Late Dr. Nawaz are the few names worth mentioning in senior cadre. For second generation nutritionists, we should mention Late Dr. Shaukat Butt, Dr. Munawar Ali, Dr. Muhammad Athar, Dr. Ahsan Siddiqui, Dr. Gulraiz, Dr. Abid Maqbool, Dr. Mirza Zafar, Dr. Zulfiqar and Late Dr. Attique for their contribution. Lastly, few emerging names of the third generation nutritionists include Dr. Iftikhar Mashadi, Dr. Mian Khalil, Dr. Muzammil, Dr. Lutfullah, Dr. Faisal, Dr. Dawood, Dr. Riaz Bhatti, Dr. Tariq, Dr. Sherazi, Dr. Usama Aftab, Dr. Babar, Dr. Ramzan, Dr. Sohail, Dr. Aziz, Dr. Tehseen, Dr. Amin, Dr. Azhar, Dr. Rizwan, Dr. Hafiz Imran, Dr. Mahmood, Dr. Saqib Butt, Dr. Aleem, Dr. Ali Ahmad, etc.
Industrialists: For the development of poultry feed industry on modern footing, we should mention Mr. Bill Macphegan, Late Maj. Anwar, Commander Afzal, Late Sheikh Zahoor, Late Mian Mukhtar, Mian Mumtaz, Mian Aftab, Mian Khalid Gulmaluk, Mian Nasir, Late Sheikh Anwar, Sheikh Fazal Elahi, Sheikh Noor Elahi, Mian Naseer, Mian Shakil, Haji Muhammad Bashir, Dr. Sabir, Dr. Muhammad Arshad, Dr. Muhammad Sadiq, Dr. Ghulam Nabi, Dr. Muhammad Aslam, Dr. Abdul Karim Bhatti, Mr. Sohail Shamsi, Sheikh Mumtaz, Sheikh Akbar, Sheikh Naseer, Mir Tahir Zaidi, Mr. Farooq Asghar, Dr. Zafar ul Islam Siddiqui, Dr. Tariq, Malik Hamid. Now to mention few names in the category of next generation of feed industrialists: Mian Shehryar, Sheikh Nabi Bakhsh, Shahzad Elahi, Mian Zeeshan Munnoo, Mr. Javed Arshad, Mr. Zubair Sadiq, Mr. Imran Ijaz, Mian Kashif Mansha, Malik Shoaib, Dr. Malik Attique, Mr. Zubair Farooq.
Other Names to mention: Still active most senior or rather first poultry veterinarians are Dr. AA Qureshi and Dr. MA Nadeem. Late Haji Siddiq of Bahoo Industry was the first Pakistani who manufactured mill machinery in Pakistan.
Educationists: We must mention services of Dr. Malik Yaqoob, Dr. Ibrar Hussain Gilani, Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha.
Evolution of the Science of Nutrition and Feed Manufacturing
When poultry industry took its roots in Pakistan, science of nutrition along with genetic potential of the commercial chicken was not as of present day chicken. At that time, in meat production (broiler) a feed conversion ratio (FCR) of 2.5 (that is 3 Kg of feed for one Kg of live weight) with live weight of 1.25 to 1.5 Kg in 8 weeks was considered to be best. For egg laying bird 150 eggs per hen per cycle was considered best and feed intake of 130 to 150 grams per hen per day for this kind of production was also thought to be acceptable without considering nutrients supply per unit basis. In the early days, feed formulation was a simple calculation or mathematics and as nutritionist was formulating a balanced formula without the help of calculator, he was considered genius even with the above mentioned results. With the evolution of science and its gadgets, now the nutritionist uses state of art software and computer to formulate a feed with many parameters which were considered as miracles during early days. These days FCR below 2 and weight of 2 Kg or above in five to six weeks is considered as normal for broilers. For layers a production of more than 325 eggs per cycle with feed intake of 100 to 110 grams are the parameters for good production.
In the beginning, for feed mixing you needed a mixer to blend different ingredients and a hammer mill for particle size reduction. Lever Feeds also introduced crumb feed but it totally flopped and they had to close crumb feed manufacturing. Pellet and Crumb feed was re-introduced by Late Sheikh Anwar of Sind Feed in mid to late eighties closely followed by Olympia group; then post grinding system along with better conditioning systems for pelleting was evolved. Now the feed manufacturing operation is much more systematized with the use of automatic batch controllers and computerized program with logical control (PLC) to produce high quality feed. It is worth mentioning that upon reintroduction of pellet feed, it still took time to be popular. Initially feed mills were offering cash incentive to lure farmers to buy pellet or crumb feed until mid nineties. Anyhow after 2000 almost 90% feed is sold as crumb or pellet and now feed millers are charging more for crumb and pellet.
Storage of the material was not needed in the early days. With increase in the poultry population, magnitude of the feed manufacturing has also greatly increased. Ingredients like rice, maize, wheat, etc used in the feed formulation were available only in their respective seasons. To store them for longer period, feed miller started using state of art storage technique. Grain silos were introduced in eighties for mass storage of ingredients to make them available for formulation round the year.