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Global production of meat doubling to 465 million metric tonne by 2050
Tuesday, 15 September, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Vineet Gupta, Yash Garg
The livestock sector is one of the crucial sub-sectors of agriculture in Indian economy. It has the world's largest population of livestock. It is one of the important occupations for the farmers as most of their livelihood depends on it. When it comes to India, it has an immense resource of livestock and poultry, which plays a vital role in improving the socio-economic conditions of rural masses.

As per 20th Livestock Census report which was released by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, there are about 535.78 million Livestock population in India. It shows a surge of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.

Meat production in India is more of unorganised, yet it is an important segment of Indian agriculture. The global production of meat is moving towards doubling, from 229 million metric tonne in the year 2000 to a projected 465 million metric tonne by 2050. Hence, we can see a huge demand in the Indian market as well in terms of an increase in the order of meat consumption and meat export across the international market.

If we compare the traditional production system and the current production system of meat in India, we see some differences in the hygiene measures and an increase in surveillance of meat-borne diseases. There has been an increase in veterinary inspection as well. We need to consider waste treatments as one of the essential parameters that will help to control pollution.

In the current scenario in the Indian meat market, there is a need to bring more improvement in meat-handling practices, recovery and proper utilisation of by-products. These improvements will minimise the wastage of meat and will improve the yield of the business. It will also strengthen the meat industry on scientific line to provide wholesome and safe meat to the domestic consumption as well as increase the potential to export in the international market. It will lead to the red revolution in India.

Making it to the international market will help to get a substantial amount of foreign currency, which ultimately benefits the economy to grow at a significant rate. It will also be the key aspect in the balance of payment which will bring a boom in the economy.

The frozen market in India during the pandemic
When it comes to frozen market in India, it has been witnessing slow growth until the outbreak of Covid-19. People who often sniffed at the idea of rummaging in the freezer for meat stock are now considering online platforms for meat deliveries due to the lockdown. The fact that frozen foods are able to retain the nutritional value for a long period, and in turn help bring down the number of times consumers have to visit the shop or outlet, also works in favour of the market.

Sales of frozen foods like fries, patties, meat and fish products and products such as curries, batter, pastes and desserts jumped in urban areas as consumers stocked up during the lockdown. Subsequently, the frozen food market has been performing well following the onset of the novel coronavirus.

Throughout the year, the inclination for quality paying little mind to the excessive cost has risen altogether, while brokers are progressively zeroing in on effective observing of frozen food with the goal that they keep up their wholesome significance. Despite the fact that the Covid-19 effect on the virus chain gracefully has been noteworthy, the advancing purchasing behaviours of the shoppers with more tendency towards wellbeing has helped the solidified food market grow quicker than anticipated.

Way forward to a bright success
India has an abundant supply of meat, and the meat processing industry has emerged in a few years. Meat processing covers a variety of products comprising animal husbandry and poultry farms as the sub-sectors, to bulk frozen meat, chilled and deli meat, packaged meat, and ready-to-eat processed meat products. This variation creates a lot of opportunities for job creation in small cities.

When it comes to the international market, India exports both frozen and fresh chilled meat to more than 60 countries of the world. The major items of export include deboned and deglanded frozen buffalo meat, which accounts for approximately 97% of the total meat export. The major market for Indian buffalo meat is Malaysia and Egypt and for sheep and goat meat are the UAE, Iran and Jordan. India also exports a small quantity of processed meat to Thailand, Yemen, and Japan and poultry products to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar. (Stats as per IFCA.Org)

With supermarkets and shopping malls spreading to Tier II and III towns, there will be more exceptional support for the expansion within the retailing of chilled/ frozen meat products in India which can help small towns to get employment and support their livelihood. Hence, in the coming era, we can see a huge opportunity for India to grow in the meat industry. The governing bodies must specialise in food safety in the least stages of production, processing, packing, storage and marketing of meat and meat products, and adherence to standards which are prescribed by the importing countries. This will help to increase export in the international market with the quality of products as per the international standard.

(Gupta and Garg are co-founders at Republic of Chicken, New Delhi)
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