In spite of big potential of the large livestock population, meat industry in India has not taken its due share although India has acquired Number One position in the world contributing 13% of the world milk production. The meat production, which jibes well with dairying, is placed at No. 8 position in the world. India produces about 4.9 million tones of meat annually valued at US $ 4,600 millions, and has grown @ 4.5% during the last two decades. However, during the last five years, this segment has been growing very fast at the rate of 27% annually and has a good future given the present attention by the Government and Private Entrepreneur.
The share of bovine meat in the total meat production in India is about 60% as against small ruminants (15%), pigs (10%) and poultry (12%). To produce the above quantities, the extraction rates in cattle are about 6%, buffaloes 11%, sheep 33%, goat 38% and pigs 84%.
India exports, both frozen and fresh chilled meat to more than 54 countries in the world. Last year (2001-2002) export was 243,560 MT. The major export was of deboned and deglanded buffalo meat, which accounts for 98% of the total meat exports. The rest of the meat exported is from sheep, goat and poultry. Meat is produced from animals procured from disease free zones and processed in the state of the art processing plants following world class sanitary and phytosanitary measures and certified with HACCP and ISO-9002. There is, however, very little processing of meat (1%) for ready to eat meat products.
There are around 10 fully integrated eco-friendly processing plants in the country with processing capacity of producing 50,000 to 120,000 tones of meat per annum. Six more fully integrated meat plants are already in the process of construction. Meat industry has shown a tremendous change in the last one decade with the establishment of the eco-friendly fully integrated processing plants and in the next ten years, there will also be great change with the establishment of the feedlots as a backward integration to the processing plants. With the Government of India taking up FMD control programme in three Zones in the country (North, Central and South) consisting of 56 Districts, it is assumed that India is poised with a major breakthrough in the meat and dairy product exports in the international markets.