India banks on animal health survey by world body experts to beef up meat exports
The ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) and the ministry of animal husbandry are working with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for the surveydehradun Updated: Apr 30, 2018 22:05 IST
The Centre has taken the help of an international organisation to conduct a survey on animal health and veterinary services in the country so as to maintain its position as a top beef exporter and penetrate the markets of Russia, Australia, and Europe, said experts associated with the study.
The ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) and the ministry of animal husbandry are working with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) for the survey.
The PVS Pathway programme of OIE works for sustainable improvement of veterinary sciences in compliance with international standards -- nearly 47.
“The programme helps establish niche services and quality of meat as per international standards,” said Sussane Munnstermann, an expert from OIE who reviewed veterinary services in Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII). “This helps in promoting better trade opportunities with countries. It also provides a gateway to penetrate into countries where rival countries dominate their markets.”
Eight veterinary experts from OIE, headquartered in Paris, have been surveying veterinary sciences and animal health in the country. If the quality of animals and services are up to the standards, then there is a possibility of entering countries with which Brazil -- number one beef exporter -- is trading, officials said.
India ranks second after Brazil in global beef trade. According to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), India exported nearly 1.32 million tonnes of carabeef --water buffalo meat -- in 2016-17, amounting to $3.91 billion. From April 2017 till February 2018, the country exported 1.23 million tonnes of beef, generating $3.69 billion. In 2017, Brazil reported export of 1.53 billion tonnes worth $6.2 billion.
The Centre, through the OIE programme, wants to declare states free from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that affects hoofed animals. The disease remains a deterrent to expanding export business in developed nations. Telangana and Maharashtra are free from FMD, but states, such as UP and Bihar, are yet to achieve this target.
“The central government needs an investment of Rs 3500 crore to make our country free from FMD,” said Fauzan Alavi, spokesperson of the All India Meat and Livestock Exporters Association. “Once it is done, not only beef but also the export possibility of dairy products will increase. Russia and Europe trade only with countries that are free from FMD.”
Based on 2016-17 data, India exports beef to Vietnam (52%), Malaysia (9%), Egypt (8%), Indonesia (6%) and Saudi Arabia (4%).
OIE has taken up survey on quality of veterinary services in more than 130 countries.