India, wich several years ago passed America as the world’s biggest dairy producer, is now set to become the world’s biggest exporter of beef—buffalo beef, that is. ’Beef exports have doubled in three years between 2008 and 2011 and are set to scale further heights. In 2011, India edged out the US as the third largest exporter of beef; buffalo meat, known as carabeef in the global market, is shipped out of [India] as beef. Technically, buffalo meat is treated as beef export; though questions are being raised whether all consignments shipped are buffalo meat, official sources say that 99 per cent of the shipments are buffalo meat’ (photo on Flickr by Diana/Distra).
‘This year, the US Department of Agriculture says, India is all set to end as the top beef exporter. India could export 1.5 million tonnes of beef compared with 1.28 million tonnes last year. This marks a significant growth since 2009 when 0.61 million tonnes were shipped from the country.
India is forecast to become the world’s leading beef exporter in 2012 due to an expanding dairy herd, efficiency improvements, increased slaughter and price-competitiveness in the international market particularly vis-à-vis Brazil,” the USDA said in its report in April. . . .
‘“India’s beef production is projected at 3.5 million tonnes based on an expanding dairy herd, increased slaughter and price-competitiveness in the global meat market compared to Brazil. As exports account for 44 per cent of production, growth in exports underpins production increases,” said the department.
‘According to 2007 livestock census, buffalo makes up one-third of the bovine herd in the country.
‘Buffalo is preferred to cow due to its adaptability to climatic conditions and high milk fat content as dairy production is fuelling the bovine sector. Since slaughter of cow is banned, beef production is driven by buffalo slaughter which is allowed. However, the slaughter is restricted to males and unproductive females. . . .
‘The USDA said Indian export have made inroads in West Asia, North Africa and South-East Asia, which is a key market for Brazil, as buffalo meat is priced lower in the price sensitive markets and is produced according to halal standards (meat prepared as prescribed by Islamic dietary law).
‘On the other hand, Brazil, which is seeing a constant decline in its beef exports, is dogged by shrinking availability of lands for grazing due to expansion in sugarcane and soyabean cultivation. Higher transport costs to get the produce to the ports are adding to the cattle sector woes.’
Read the whole article at the Hindu Business Line: Cheaper buffalo meat helps double beef exports in 3 years, 21 Jun 2012.