New Delhi : Beef exports from India have even surpassed the Basmati rice, though it is not the cow meat but the buffalo meat that is also sold in most parts of India as beef.
The buffalo meat became the largest item in India’s agri-export basket contributing 23% of the country’s total agricultural and processed food products in the first five months of the current financial year up to August end as against Basmati rice (21.86%) and non-Basmati rice (17.25%).
According to the latest data available with the Agricultural and Processed Food Product Exports Development Authority (APEDA), exports of the buffalo meat during April-August 2016 totalled Rs 9,864 crore against Rs 9,469 crore a year ago.
In value terms, it registered an increase of 4%.
While Basmati rice export last year amounted to Rs 9,946 crore, it is down to Rs 9,368 crore during the same period of April-August this year. Though the total quantity of Basmati rice export this year is more, the realisation was less because of low prices in the global market.
According to the credit rating agency ICRA, Uttar Pradesh tops as the leading buffalo meat-producing state, housing around 60% of the standalone slaughter houses, standalone meat processing units and fully integrated meat processing units. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab are three other major buffalo meat production centres.
India exported a total of 13,14,158 tonnes of buffalo meat products worth Rs 26,681.56 crore during 2015-16. Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt Arab Republic, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were the major export destination.
According to APEDA, India has about 3600 slaughter houses, there are live modern abattoirs and one integrated abattoir meat processing plant for slaughtering buffaloes for exports and domestic consumption. There are 24 meat processing plants, including 13 are hundred percent export-oriented units who are mainly engaged in export of meat products. In the last one-year three new export oriented units of buffalo meat processing have been approved and are reportedly under implementation.
India today accounts for nearly 20% of the world’s total buffalo meat exports in volume terms and as such it has overtaken Brazil and Australia, the ICRA report said.