(I) Setting up of the State of Art-Abattoir-cum-Meat Processing Plants
(II) Packaging of Technologies to raise male Buffalo Calves for Meat Production
(III) Buffalo Rearing under Contractual Farming as Backward Integration To the Modern Abattoirs for Meat Production
(IV) Establishing Disease-Free Zones for Rearing Animals
If India had the “Green” Revolution, the “White” Revolution, and the “Blue” Revolution, can the “Pink Revolution” be far behind? The Green Revolution had led to self-sufficiency in food grains, the White Revolution saw India occupy the Number One Position in milk production in the world, and the Blue Revolution brought about increase in fish production. This proves that the Indian farmer is
Progressive. What he needs is the lead in the right direction. Contribution of buffalo in bringing about the White Revolution in India is well known. India is now poised to achieve the Pink Revolution through buffalo. If this could be done, India can also achieve the Number one position in meat production. This could be achieved by reducing the mortality rate in male Buffalo calves (80%), and rearing the animals scientifically for quality meat production, For example, about ten million buffalo calves, which were otherwise eliminated in their very infancy, would become available for quality meat production. This will raise the standard of living of small and marginal farmers in the long run. Meat production has been neglected, and has not been given adequate attention by the scientists, policy makers, and entrepreneurs, coupled with lack of political will. If all these are combined, the meat production can be greatly enhanced. Meat production is intimately linked to quality leather production in which India has acquired Number Two position in the world after Italy. If substantive support is given by the Government, both meat and leather can also achieve Number One position in the world, like milk.
In order to achieve the Pink Revolution, the following steps have been taken by the Government and the entrepreneurs in India. The Government and the Private Sector have already initiated many of the steps.
The recent trend in India is to establish latest state-of-the-art abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants. India has already established 10 most modern state-of-art mechanized abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants in various States based on slaughtering buffaloes and sheep. These plants are environment friendly, where all the slaughterhouse byproducts are utilized in production of meat-cum-bone meal, Tallow, bone chips etc. They are also adopting appropriate technologies to obtain value added products. These plants have effluent treatment devices which treat all the washings of abattoirs, lair age etc. to safe water discharge having 30 PPM of BOD. A few more (eight) are under construction.
The plants follow all the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures required by the International Animal Health code of O.I.E. Having no social taboo, like the cow in India, with buffalo slaughter, these plants mostly produce buffalo meat for export. India is becoming a major buffalo meat producing country and will be a main player in the international market with additional establishment of the state-of-art-abattoirs cum meat processing plants and control of FMD in three zones in few years from now.
There are also four integrated poultry meat-processing plants, which follow sanitary, and phytosanitary measures of world class. The largest plant is of Venkatesara Hatcheries.
In India, every year, about 10 million male calves are removed from the buffalo production system due to intentional killing by the farmers to save dam’s milk due to non-remunerative cost of raising male animals, thus incurring a loss of about US $ 11 million per annum. These calves could be salvaged for meat production, which will not only improve the economic condition of the farmers but also would increase meat production for domestic consumption and export market.
In India intensive feeding of male buffalo calves has started for meat production. The male calves at the age of 6 - 8 months purchased from the farmers are quarantined for 15 days during which vaccination and de-worming are provided. Thereafter, they are fed on high protein/high energy diet to put on a weight of 120 kg in 4 months to produce quality meat. (Photograph 8) They are never fed on antibiotics, hormones and growth promoters. They are raised in organic farming. Meat from such animals is tender, lean and juicy and goes to the wet market.
A strong need has been felt to establish a production base around each modern abattoir to produce quality disease-free animals as per the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements of O.I.E. Hind Livestock Development Foundation has established a model backward integration with 110,000 farmers who are raising more than half a million buffaloes in 2,200 villages under contractual farming system (Photographs 9, 10, 11 & 12). The Foundation is providing animal health, animal feeding and extension management services to the farmers at their doorsteps. The marketing of the animals to the meat plant is organized by the Foundation to pay them remunerative prices. This has reduced the mortality in the male calves as inputs for animal rearing are provided by the Company in vaccination, de-worming and feeds.
India is now fortunately free from most of the trade related diseases listed at List ‘A’ of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), namely, Rinderpest, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), etc. India has also not reported.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalapathy (BSE – Mad Cow Disease). However, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is still prevalent in an endemic form in some States in India. The Government of India has established 3 Zones with 56 Districts to control FMD in the Tenth Five Year Plan. These Zones are in the North, Central and Southern zone where most of the EOU plants are located. Hopefully, in another 2 – 3 years, OIE recognized FMD free zones with vaccination would be established in the country, which will further boost meat export. The Project has started with 100% financial assistance from the Central Government. Training of the Veterinarians and purchase of vaccines have been completed. The mass vaccination has started from October 2003.