- Intro – Give the current status of the livestock population in India.
- List the challenges faced by the meat and poultry sector.
- 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.
- 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.