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Approach:

  1. Intro – Give the current status of the livestock population in India.
  2. List the challenges faced by the meat and poultry sector.
  3. Give an account of measures that can be taken for accelerated and sustained growth in the sector.

With only 2.29% of the land area of the world, India is maintaining about 10.71% of the world’s livestock. A large manpower is also involved in livestock related activities like manufacture of animal food products and beverages, manufacture of textiles, tanning & dressing of leather, farming of animals etc. Despite that, the potential of animal rearing remains underutilised due to various challenges such as:

  • Lack of poultry feed: Maize is the single most important ingredient of poultry feed, its‟ availability at a reasonable cost is the major problem of poultry sector.
  • Diseases: Pathogenic and emerging diseases often cause heavy losses both in domestic market and international trade.
  • Lack of trained Human Resource: This results in less than optimal output.
  • Low productivity: Dead weight of carcass is low, indicating low biomass. For bovine and cattle, milk production is also lesser than international varieties.
  • Poor hygiene and upkeep: Poultry unfit to meet industry and export norms.

The challenges faced by the meat sector include:

  • Lack of modernised abattoir: it results in poor efficiency and issues of sanitation which hampers export.
  • Cultural issues: In some states meat industry has been facing resistance due to religious sentiments.
  • Low productivity of livestock: In terms of meat output.
  • Low level of processing and value addition in animal products.

Way Forward:

  • Long-term sustainable production measures should be looked into increase the production & quality of maize.
  • Active surveillance, monitoring and control in case of any outbreaks in rapid manner. Implementation of livestock insurance insurance schemes is also important.
  • Network for a realistic national and global poultry database and marketing intelligence may be developed. Also, the genetic resource of Indian livestock should be conserved through programmes like Gokul Mission.
  • Sufficient trained manpower should be developed in the existing institutions.
  • The by-products from mechanized abattoirs should be utilized for production of value added products, like Meat-cum-Bone Meal (MBM), Tallow, Bone Chips, Pet Foods and methane, which can be used as a source of energy for value addition in most of the modern plants.
  • There is a need to support pig rearing in order to improve sow productivity, growth rate of piglets and feed conversion efficiency.
  • Proper utilization of by-products of livestock slaughter for higher income of livestock owners.
  • The environmental pollution and spread of livestock diseases should be prevented.

With growing urbanization and increasing quality consciousness, the market for scientifically produced meat products is growing for ready-to-eat and semi-processed meat products. With proper utilisation of livestock resources India needs to be ready for changing socio-economic scenario.

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