Silver Revolution in India – Features, Facts and Challenges

Know All About Silver Revolution in India

The Silver Revolution in India refers to the massive growth in egg production. The revolution was started in 1969-1978 and the Silver Revolution has been a major contributor to India’s economy.

The Silver Revolution has been supported by both government and private firms. The former Prime Minister of the father of the Silver Revolution. Mrs. Indira Gandhi is said to be, however, the greatest contributor behind this revolution is the Late Dr. B V Rao (Father of Indian Poultry Industry) has been.

Let’s Learn.

Who is the father of silver revolution in India?

Mrs. Indira Gandhi envisioned and pioneered the silver revolution in the 1970s, and thus she is known as the father of the silver revolution in India. Later Banda Vasudev Rao, an Indian agriculturalist and poultry farmer from Telangana, modernized and boosted poultry farming in India. He is also known as the father of poultry farming in India. The Government of India recognized his effort towards the poultry ecosystem and awarded him the Padma Shri in 1990.


Important Revolutions in India and their Fathers

Questions about India’s revolutions come up in some examinations, that is why we have prepared for you a list of all revolutions and what they were related to, which is as follows

Black RevolutionPetroleum Production
Blue RevolutionFish Production
Brown RevolutionLeather, Cocoa
Golden Fibre RevolutionJute Production
Golden RevolutionHorticulture, Honey, Fruit Production
Green RevolutionAgriculture Production
Grey RevolutionFertilizers
Pink RevolutionOnions, Prawn
Red RevolutionMeat, Tomato Production
Evergreen Revolutionagriculture production growth
Round RevolutionPotato Production
Silver Fibre RevolutionCotton Production
Silver RevolutionEgg Production
White RevolutionDairy, Milk Production
Yellow RevolutionOil Seed Production
Round RevolutionPotato


What is Silver Revolution in India?

  • Silver Revolution Definition: The Silver Revolution is the intense growth in egg production in India by using the best methods and better technology to make development in poultry cultivation even more.
  • The Silver Revolution took place for a period of 9 years, beginning in 1969–1978, in which medical science and innovation played a very important role.
  • The policies of the Government of India and private companies such as Venky’s as well as scientists and veterinarians all played a key role in the huge growth of egg production in the poultry sector in India. Because of this, India ranked third in the largest egg-producing region after China and the United States.

Salient features of the Silver Revolution

The production of eggs was intended to be increased for the consumption of healthy food, so the silver revolution had many objectives, which are as follows

• The silver revolution ensured that large firms should adopt the high technology and follow biosafety protocols to prevent various diseases.
• The Silver Revolution promoted the usage of applied science to obtain chickens.
• This revolution also confirmed that the quality of standards of egg products should be increased so that the requirements of other countries where there are good markets in the poultry industry can be met.
• To maximize consumption demand, the mid-day meal schemes were promoted by increasing egg productions and ensuring sustainable food for all.
• The eggs should be well packaged and for nutritional value as well as expiration date should be mentioned.
• Due to the egg being a fragile commodity, long-distance supply and export should be carefully planned.
• The Poultry Development Index was created for the major poultry producing states of the Indian Union and categorized the states in increasing order of WPDI (Walking Permeability Distance Index).

Challenges of Silver Revolution in India

Despite the multi-dimensional effort at the center and state level, there were some major challenges that caused hindrance during the execution of the silver revolutions.

• Exports to the northern region and southern region of the world had slowed down as countries started producing their own poultry. The challenge was revealed.
• In the poultry industry, social issues were a big reason for large agricultural units.
• The next challenge was related to environmental pollution. Untreated chicken waste causes environmental pollution. It leads to the emission of harmful gases and bacteria.

Important facts of Silver Revolution

  • The Silver Revolution inspired a significant socio-development in India.
  • Along with the increase in egg production, this revolution also helped in employment for people in rural areas. The poultry industry has been providing employment to more than one lakh people in a direct and indirect manner.
  • The production of eggs has been very well organized till now and it is continuously settling down gradually resulting in a great increase in consumption, leading to optimal prices. So, the production of eggs has increased to 90 billion in 25 years.
  • The best quality eggs are produced in India, leading to the export of eggs to African countries. These are the leading poultry producing states in various regions – Punjab in the northern region, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the southern region, West Bengal and Bihar in the eastern region, Maharashtra in the western region.
World Egg Day

World Egg Day is celebrated each year in October on the second Friday. World Egg Day was established in 1996 at the IEC Vienna conference.

Poultry Production in India

  • The poultry industry in India has revolutionized its role and structure due to technological development. The distribution of the poultry industry population suggests that it has been able to reach only a limited number of pockets. Minimum funds have been allocated for the growth and development of poultry under various schemes. However, production targets have been satisfactorily achieved in the poultry industry sectors.
  • The stages of development of poultry in various states have shown that in most of the states, the areas of the poultry industry have still not developed well. The poultry industry is very important in some states such as Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
  • If we talk about what is the cost of poultry production, then, first of all, you have to have feed mainly, then other items such as the cost of a day of chicken, medicine, and labor.
  • The marketing channel is well organized and operates in a fairly competitive environment. In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in prices in the wholesale market as well as in the retail market.
  • The value chain correlation in the wholesale and retail markets remained positive and significantly higher during the period under study, which implies that the wholesale and retail markets showed strong integration into the commodity market and transmitted price movements in one market entirely to other markets has gone.
Facts on Silver Revolution in India and Poultry Industry

  • There are 1.3 billion people in India and this number is increasing every year. The focus is on “development” which means good food, better health, and living conditions for all. When people earn more, they spend more money on food. Healthy food at an attractive price will be the issue in focus. Eggs and chicken are accepted by all communities and are available at the most reasonable prices.
  • Within 25 years, egg production has grown from a few million to 90 billion and broiler production has increased from somewhere to 4.8 million tons.
  • Poultry is the most organized sector in animal farming, worth Rs 1 lakh crore. Growth is against 6-8% layers and 10-12% broilers per year growth of agriculture, which is about 2.5%.
  • India is the third-largest egg producer after China and the United States and the fourth-largest chicken producer after China, Brazil, and the United States.
  • Per capita, egg consumption has increased from 30 to 68 and chicken 400 grams to 2.5 kg. Human nutritionists recommend 180 eggs and 10 kg of chicken per year. Most countries consume more than 240 eggs and 20 kg of chicken.

There is scope to increase production. Production is becoming more orderly and moving into consumption resulting in optimal price and with minimum profits.

Eggs and chicken were agricultural produce a few years ago, but are edible today. Safe eating is very important. In addition to maintaining its production capacity, producers have to focus on nutrients, adulterants, and contaminants of their produce.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Center for Science and Environment, and Food Inspection officials started keeping track of eggs and chicken.

It has three segments-

Layer Industry (Eggs):-  Small layer units are becoming inseparable. Larger units with 100,000 birds coming in a million birds and a house. Some 70% of the birds were in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka in the south and only in Punjab in the north. The eggs were moved to other states. At present, more production units are coming up in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Bihar. Northeast states are planning production units to obtain fresh eggs at a more reasonable cost by saving time and money on transportation.

Larger units go for bulk purchases, seasonal purchases at harvest, and even for import of feed material. Production costs can be managed.

Mechanization in feed production, feeding of birds, and handling of eggs are possible with large units.

Long-distance supply, export, and further processing can be planned with mass production.

Larger units may adopt better technologies such as low-cost feed formulations and biosafety protocols to prevent diseases.

Eggs in supermarkets will be graded, cleaned, well packaged, and labeled for nutritional value.

Mid-day meal plans boost egg consumption, demand for hospitals will increase

Shell eggs and egg products, like pasteurized and processed liquid eggs, have good markets in many countries such as the Middle-East and Japan. We have to raise the quality standards to meet the requirement of those countries.

These large mechanized houses require heavy investment. The cost of finance is a large part of the production cost of an egg. Social issues surrounding large agricultural units such as handling of manure, labor availability, and environmental pollution are putting a limit on expansion.

Food and Egg prices in India

India has developed its own system of housing and management, which is the most cost-effective. The chickens are happy in the hands of Indian farmers and both are doing a good job in meeting their food needs. Shell eggs are the cheapest in India, although input costs are not the lowest. This is due to better efficiency achieved by farmers by producing more than per hen laid at low input cost.

Broiler Industry:- The broiler bird was not known in India until 1975. The hens were “spent chickens” or male birds. Commercial broiler chicks, prepared in 60 days, began to become more efficient after 1975 with tender meat as a separate unit. Hatchery imported parents and grandparents of hybrid broilers. The breeding expedition started in Delhi and later shifted to South India. Movement of parent stock, hatching, day by day chicks introduced broilers growing everywhere. Hatchery sold chicks to the farmers day by day and sold them to the traders. In 10 years the live broiler became a separate food unit. Live broilers are not transported for long distances.

Genetic technical work has gone into broiler production in the fields of genetics, nutrition, breeder management, hatchery management, housing, and disease management. The duration of growing broilers has gradually decreased from 60 days to more than 40 days.

Ways Forward

  • More broiler producers and improved efficiencies have changed the shape of the industry. Feeders (65%) and chicks (25%) account for 90% of broiler inputs and production began consolidation. There is a wide gap between the economics of small units purchasing feeds and chicks and those using their own feeds and chicks. Larger companies with large investments came in and smaller units signed agreements to grow broilers for the company, limiting production costs to 10%. This synergy in the form of “contract farming” is an excellent development that took place in India.
What is Contract farming?

Contract farming can be defined as an agreement between farmers and processing or marketing firms for the production and supply of agricultural products at predetermined prices irrespective of past and future events like Changes in Government subsidy status or in case of any natural calamities.

  • Small land-holding farmers find growing broilers for the company on an “all-in-all-out” basis, poultry houses built on land offer better and assured returns than agriculture that is more nature-dependent and uncertain.
  • Genetic improvement by selective breeding is continuously improving broiler development and feed efficiency. Feeds 0.75 days per year and 75 grams less per kg of chicken.
  • Large feed mills adopting feed production technology are producing safe and efficient feeds at the best prices. They focus on the purchase of materials based on quality and price.
  • Parent breeder and hatchery management is producing healthy chickens.
  • “All-in-all-out” adherence is producing excellent results. 2 kg broilers produced in 36 days with 1.5 kg feed with less than 3% per kg of chicken are being obtained on low-cost open houses reared by common farmers.
  • Some companies are for further processing and value addition to reach the consumer with “fast food”, offering them the best food at the best price.
  • Fewer companies with branded products will compete in the “safe food” initiative.
  • The export market can be effectively tapped with international quality standards in large units.
  • Investment in cold chains will come from surplus areas to safely move products to scarce areas, which will stabilize markets. It is also an essential part of exports.
  • Middle-East Arab countries still import large quantities of chicken. India has a good opportunity in these markets.

Family Production / Backyard (Both eggs and chicken):- India has a 60% rural population based on agriculture. Poultry farming has been in the backyard of most homes for ages, forming a part of the family’s income. At one time, 30% of the eggs produced were in the backyard. The birds available there never improved and were inefficient for both egg and meat production.

Cereals, fruits, flowers, vegetables, and milk are all produced by small farmers. Even products are marketed directly by farmers in weekly village markets and “collection centres” set up by the government or companies.

The government started encouraging backyard poultry farming. Advanced varieties “low technology input birds” are bred for this purpose, which is genetically more efficient in production than “The Nine Chicken”. Low technology input birds are mostly dual purpose. Birds grow faster than native chicken reaching a weight of 1.5 kg in 45 days, but can withstand variable feed qualities and can also supplement themselves by scavenging. Female birds lay 160 eggs compared to native birds, which do not exceed 60 per year.

“Mother Units” are being encouraged to take care of broking and vaccinations in the growing (initial four weeks) before they are delivered. This ensures disease protection.

Cluster farming” in rural areas is possible with these chickens to increase meat production along the lines of broiler farming.

What is Cluster Farming?

Cluster farming is a comprehensive approach for small farmers so that they can reduce their input costs and increase their income. Usually Cluster farming focuses on catfish hatchery and breeding ponds, a layered chick hatchery etc. The states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh have already welcomed the Cluster Approach for Organic Farming.

A group of 8 to 10 farmers or educated youngsters can form a group and grow birds in a group of 500 to 1,000 birds in low-cost homes as is done in broilers. The birds are grown on an “all in all” basis and the producer himself works.

The group can graduate to “organic chicken” by creating its own low-cost feed without chemicals and antibiotics. The cluster may market birds in local village mandis or supply them in supermarkets with the brand name. Slow-growing multicoloured chicken with hard meat gets a better price than a broiler whose meat is becoming tender every year. The sector is developing into a “niche market” with better returns.

There is an attempt to increase egg production in many states with “family laying units” on the lines of milk production with no special investment in large houses, bank finance, and labour. Mother units develop pulsates up to 15 weeks old and complete all vaccinations before being supplied to beneficiaries.

25 to 500 birds can be housed in the same cattle shed with cages fitted with a nipple drinking system. The unit requires less water and poultry manure can be used for agricultural land. Once established, feed manufacturing companies will supply layer feed like animal feed. Eggs are less spoiled than milk. There is no need to reach the market. Eggs can be supplied to village schools without including mid-day meal schemes and transportation to hospitals.

Brown colour, strong-layered type birds, 300 egg layers, and more “family laying units” are being considered. States such as Kerala have adopted this system as an “alternative system” of egg production for commercial poultry farming.

Development of Poultry Sector in India

The phase of poultry farming in different states / UTs was examined by constructing developmental indices on parameters such as parent stock, number of improved birds relative to total poultry population, number of hatcheries (both in private and public sector), and performance i.e Number of eggs produced / year). This technique was used to create an index for the major poultry producing states/union territories of the country. The Poultry Development Index was created for the major poultry producing states of the Indian Union. The states were classified in ascending order of WPDI. This implies that the state with the lowest WPDI was mentioned earlier and so on. Assam and N.E. States were ranked first, that is, poultry farming is the least developed among these states, followed by Bihar, Jharkhand, and Himachal Pradesh, etc. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana presented the most developed poultry production in India.

India has almost doubled its meat consumption during the past decade due to domestic economic growth and consumption dynamics. Nevertheless, the average Indian eats about 4.5 kg (10 lb) of meat per year, reflecting the country’s low-income status and preference for non-animal protein sources. Poultry occupies an important place in India and chicken is the most widely accepted meat in India – helped by religious taboo around beef and pork. Many Indian families in urban areas have started accepting eggs as a regular complementary part of their vegetarian diet.

Domestic demand for poultry meat and eggs in India is expected to grow at a rapid pace. A major factor underlining India’s poultry industry is the availability of animal feed, especially maize. Maize production in India is growing and changing rapidly in response to the growth in the poultry industry.

Meanwhile, maize value chains are becoming more sophisticated and their changing structure provides investment opportunities for public and private sector actors. Due to this, maize helps to drive India’s agricultural and economic development, especially through its role in the booming poultry industry.

A proper institutional and policy environment should enable India’s poultry revolution to continue in the future – as well as focus on market development and the environment. India’s poultry revolution has already made its mark on global poultry production and trade. The overwhelming majority of demand in India will continue to be met by domestic production – causing traditional poultry exporters like the United States and Brazil to largely miss out on India’s rambling poultry market.

In addition, India is likely to become a more important player in the export market, particularly in the Middle East, and thus presents an emerging competitor in the global poultry trade sector.

Important Facts on Silver Revolution in India

  • The Silver Revolution in India year: 1969–1978
  • The silver revolution is associated with an increase in egg production.
  • Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India at the time of the Silver Revolution.
  • The Silver Revolution was carried out with the help of government policies and private sector.
  • The man behind this revolution is B V Rao.
  • India ranks third among the largest egg-producing countries just after China and USA. It should be noted that China is by far the world’s largest egg producer. China produces 42 per cent of global production, whereas the United States accounts for 7% and India accounts for 6% of worldwide egg production.

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