Abstract: This paper presents the results of an empirical study of the Indian Poultry Industry which is specially focused on the social and environmental outcomes generated by the rapidly increasing scale of egg and broiler production in India. Among the effects of these rapid changes that occurred in the poultry industry include increased risk for animal health, changes in demand patters in terms of amount, quality, and food safety, higher prices for high value items; but there is also a threat to smallholders that they will be excluded from more demanding markets. There are important questions, which have arisen with the industrialization of poultry activity in India. Is the scaling up of production driving small producers to disadvantage on account of high transaction costs, policy distortions and environment externalities? Why do some poultry farms have higher incomes than others? Do large farms earn more profit per unit of output than small farms? What explains the differentials in efficiency? An attempt is made here to take stock of these changes and to assess their social and environmental outcomes particularly those that affect the welfare of poor. The paper starts by examining the state of the Indian Poultry Industry, then it goes in dealing with selected socio-economic, health, and environment changes that affect the competitiveness of livestock production including domestic institutional arrangement of food safety standards.
Keywords: Indian poultry sector, livestock industrialization, competitiveness, transaction costs, environmental externalities, contract farming.