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Posted at: Oct 3, 2016, 2:18 AM; last updated: Oct 3, 2016, 2:18 AM (IST)

Buffalo meat largest agri-export item

Surpasses basmati with 23% of India’s foodstuff exports

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2

Amid the controversy surrounding the consumption of beef in the country, buffalo meat has became the largest item in India’s agri-export basket surpassing basmati rice in the first five months of the current fiscal year.

During the period, buffalo meat contributed 23 per cent of the country’s total agricultural and processed food products exports, followed by basmati rice (21.86 per cent) and non-basmati rice (17.25 per cent).

According to the latest data with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA), exports of buffalo meat during April-August 2016 have been to the tune of Rs 9,864 crore against Rs 9,469 crore for the year-ago period. In value terms, it registered an increase of 4 per cent.

While last year basmati rice exports amounted to Rs 9,946 crore, the figure is down to Rs 9,368 crore during the same period this year. Although India registered an increase in exports of basmati rice this year, the realisation was negative as compared to last year mainly on account of low prices in the global market.

According to credit rating agency ICRA, Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the leading buffalo meat-producing state — housing around 60 per cent of the standalone slaughter houses, standalone meat processing units and fully-integrated meat processing units.

India exports buffalo meat to countries like Vietnam, Egypt, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. The Indian buffalo meat exports have grown at a CAGR of 29 per cent from Rs 3,533 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 26,682 crore in 2015-16, accounting for approximately 20 per cent of the world’s total buffalo meat exports (in volume terms) and becoming the largest volume exporter of buffalo meat, overtaking Brazil and Australia, ICRA said.

For the last two consecutive years, buffalo meat has been the highest agri-related export from India.

Recently, in its report, ICRA forecast that India’s buffalo meat exports will be driven by improving infrastructure, a sizeable buffalo population, the relatively lower price of meat and a steady demand in the international market. It estimates that buffalo meat exports will grow and touch Rs 40,000 crore by 2020-21.

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