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India's livestock sector has continuously provided structural support to the rural economy as an important vocation for rural population, next only to crop raising. On account of favourable socio economic factors such as changing eating habits, higher purchasing power, urbanization, increasing health consciousness towards protein rich diet, preferred meat due to religious preferences, there has been increase in demand for meat and the sector has gained importance in terms of contribution to income, employment and foreign exchange earnings.

India has the world’s largest population of livestock and is world’s 5th largest producer of meat.

Raw Material Availability

Key Players Brand
Total livestock population in numbers* 529.70 million
Total poultry population in numbers* 648.88 million
Cattle population in numbers* 199.08 million
Buffalo population in numbers* 105.34 million
Sheep population in numbers* 71.56 million
Goats population in numbers* 140.45 million
Camels population in numbers* 0.52 million
The value of output from livestock sector at current prices `during 2011-12 Parag
INR 4,59,051crore Dynamix
The value of output from meat group as per the estimates of CSO at current prices in 2011-12 INR 83,641 crore

(*Source:$ provisional data derived from village level totals, All India census estimate Livestock Census, Directorate of Economics and Statistics and Animal Husbandry Statistics Division, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, M/o Agriculture).

The total processing capacity in India is over 1 million tons per annum, of which 40-50 percent is utilized. An analysis of the composition of agricultural trade over the last decade shows that traditional agricultural exports of India are now competing with new and more dynamic sectors, such as buffalo meat exports. At least 70% of the buffalo meat is exported. The major areas for Buffalo Meat production are Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab. Uttar Pradesh is the top buffalo meat-producing state with production of 0.3 million tonnes in 2011.

The meat production has registered a healthy growth from 2.3 million tonnes at the end of Tenth Five Year Plan (2006-07) to 5.5 million tonnes at the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2011-12). The Annual growth rate for meat production in 2011-12 was about 13%. (Annual Report of Animal Husbandry Department)

India exports more than 0.5 million tons of meat, mostly buffalo meat. Indian buffalo meat is witnessing strong demand in international markets due to its lean character and near organic nature. Unlike cow slaughter, there is no social taboo in slaughtering buffalo for meat.

Goat and lamb meat are relatively small but important segments where local demand is outstripping supply. They have short generation intervals, higher rates of prolificacy, and marketing of goa-sheep meat products is far easier. Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Hilly regions of North and Eastern Himalays are the Indian regions with maximum livestock population. The production levels in these two categories have been almost constant at 0.95 million tons with annual exports of less than 10,000 tons.

Indias exports of Meat and Meat products in 2013-14


Product Quantity Exported Value of Exports (INR) Major Export Destination Major Producing states
Buffalo meat 14,49,758.64 MT 26,457.79 crores. Vietnam Social Republic, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt Arab Republic, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab.
Sheep & Goat meat 22,608.94 MT 694.10 crores United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Hilly regions of North and Eastern Himalays
Poultry Products 4,37,673.53 MT 565.87 crores Oman, Germany, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam, Chittoor, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and North Eastern States


(source APEDA )

The data released by DGCIS for the period April- Feb 2014 states that the exports of meat and meat products was INR 24,51,790 lakhs which contributed 1.437% of India’s total exports during the period.

In recent years, the buffalo meat industry for export has attracted heavy investment. The Government of India has also taken steps to provide thrust to the buffalo meat sector by introducing schemes on salvaging and rearing of buffalo male calves and modernization of abattoirs. Export oriented Units has invested hugely in establishment of large abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants with the latest technology. India has already established ten state-of-art mechanized abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants in various states based on slaughtering buffaloes and sheep. These plants are environment friendly, where all the slaughterhouse by-products are utilized in the production of meat-cum-bone meal, tallow, bone chips and other value-added products. Several more are under construction. The plants follow all the sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures required by the International Animal Health code of World Organization for Animal Health (O.I.E.). These plants mostly produce buffalo meat for export. India is becoming a major buffalo meat producing country and will be a main player in the international market with additional establishment of the state-of-art-abattoirs cum meat processing plants. The expanding domestic market as well as export markets for buffalo meat is creating a window of opportunity for all the stakeholders in the value chain of buffalo meat production.

India is the ninth-largest producer of poultry meat, fifth largest egg producer and the eighteenth largest producer of broilers in the world. The demand for poultry is growing at 7 to 8 percent (ICRA REPORT ). The poultry sector has been growing at around 8-10 per cent annually over the last decade with broiler meat volumes growing at more than 10 per cent, while table egg is growing at 5-6 per cent driven by increased domestic consumption.

Poultry development in the country has shown steady progress over the years. Currently egg production is around 66.45billion in 2011-12 which is about 5% over the previous year production of about 63.02 billion eggs. The poultry meat production is estimated to be about 2.47 million tonnes. The current per capita availability of eggs is around 55 eggs per year. Domestic per capita consumption of poultry meat is estimated at 2.8 kg per annum; while global per capita table egg consumption stands at 57 eggs per annum. In value term, total poultry market size is estimated at USD 9.93 billion at the wholesale price level indicating value growth of 8% over CY2012.(Calendar Year). Exports of poultry products are currently at around 565crore in 2013-14 as per the report of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Farmers in India have graduated from rearing country birds to rearing hybrids which ensure faster growth of chicks, higher yield of eggs per bird, increased hatchability, low mortality rates, better feed conversion and consequently sustainable profits to the poultry farmers. The encouraging growth in poultry output over last decade makes India one of the fastest growing major world market in the segment with future growth potential remaining strong on back of wide gap against global per capital consumption norms and favorable socio economic factors.

India needs investment in development of cold chain infrastructure and an efficient distribution system for transitioning from a predominantly live bird/wet market to a chilled/frozen market for expansion of domestic poultry industry as well as to increase presence in international trade.

With the exception of sterile egg powders exported to Europe, virtually all-Indian poultry and egg production is consumed within the country and exports to South Asia. Four southern states-Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu-account for about 45 percent of the country's egg production. The eastern and central regions of India account for roughly 20 percent of egg production. (AT Kearney). There has also been an increase in the size of poultry farms. In earlier years, broiler farms had produced on average a few hundred birds (from 200-500 chicks) per cycle. Today units with with 5,000 to 50,000 birds per cycle are common. Similarly, in layer farms, units with a flock size of 10,000 to 50,000 birds have become common.

Investment Opportunities:
The sector has huge potential for setting up of modern slaughter houses, cold chain for meat and poultry processing sector. The potential in areas like Frozen meat, ready to eat products, semi-finished products for retails is to be invented largely. The surplus buffalo meat in the country will show better profitability with better processing technology.