In Tamil Nadu, Emu Farming is scattered around North-Western parts and in and around Madurai. There are other farms smaller in size, across Tamil Nadu. You can find atleast 20 big farms are in Tamil Nadu, which comprises of more than 70% of the Emu Population of the state.
The Main purpose of these farms are selling Chicks to Locals and selling bulk to Andhra Pradesh and beyond. There is no real end use for this Emus at present, except few (big) farmers already tried out selling Meat to the local market and processing Fat in their backyard and selling them as Emu Oil to local stores. Meats end up as Briyani and most of them do like it well, whereas Oil brought more bad name than profit. Because Oil was not processed properly and lost their medicinal values during the preparation, hence, it didn't perform as expected.
There is a emu research unit in Pudukkottai. Its called Emu Research Centre, sponsored by Animal Husbandary Department of Tamil Nadu. This Centre has a Emu Incubator and 10 pairs of Adult Emu birds. They are conducting Training for farmers regularly and they have released a book in Tamil on Emu Farming, as well. This research centre is trying its best to educate farmers, but in general, the mood of the department is unsure of the market for Emu. They worried too much if they would misdirect people, since they have already burned their fingers in Rabbit Farming.
Since selling Chicks was the main focus of these big farms, the market has really moved away to farther places like Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Chandigarh, MP, etc. The cost of transportation is getting higher, hence, net realization for the chicks goes lower for Tamil Nadu Farmers. So, there is a tight situation now, as the farmers are having excess chicks in their hand. The is not an isolated case, but most of the farmers faces this problem now.
It leads to formation of central association in Tamil Nadu, called, Tamil Nadu Emu Farmers Association (TANEFA). The Association has just formed to find ways to keep, sustain and grow the Emu Farming industry in Tamil Nadu. We need to wait and see whether this association really helps small emu farmers to sell their birds at a reasonable profit or will this association help only to the big farmers? Let's see.
I observed a emu business model, which is outstanding and successful. There are few farms already doing this very successfully. I will explain this in the next post.