J&K needs Pink Revolution
A state which is starved of meat and other animal products can become self-sufficient
CONCERN BY DR. RAM CHANDER SHARMA
Due to climatic and cultural reasons the meat consumption in the Himalayan State of Jammu and Kashmir is three times more than that of national average – local production being poor, 70% of live sheep/goats, poultry and eggs are imported from outside the state resulting in the flight of capital from the state next to the import of electricity. Paradoxically the meat production, processing, value addition, procurement, marketing and necessary legislation is most neglected area in J&K due to vested political, business interests and lack of political will. Imagine machinery worth crores of rupees is laying unutilized at the Idgah abbatoir in Srinagar for years and has turned as a junk favoring the politically strong Kothidar community engaged in the procurement, slaughter and marketing of meat. Everytime state government goes to a tail spin with bowing down to the dictates of the meat retailers over the fixing of prices of the meat in the state and the commodity is getting out of the reach of the common man due to the spiraling prices. As a predominantly temperate state the meat can’t be taken out of the menu of people and the demand is increasing day by day. Here lie the challenges and the opportunities to make efforts to achieve the desired goals.
India had the green revolution (agricultural production), white revolution (milk production), blue revolution (fish production) for attaining self-sufficiency – India figures first in the milk production, can pink revolution (meat production) be far behind. The answer is in the negative – India is heading towards a silent pink revolution. India has the largest cattle population of the world including that of the buffaloes (57%). Buffaloe is a wonderful triutility animal of India where it originated and is known as black gold. Besides used for drought, milk production (55%), it has tremendous potential for the meat production and its export particularly to west and south East Asia. Buffaloe meat export increased by 45% from April 2008 – 09 compared to the same time 2008-09. This translated to 19,45,040 animals. This shows Indian farmer is progressive, what is needed is the lead in the right direction with the government support. Buffaloe has contributed a lot in the white revolution and Indian is now poised to achieve the pink revolution through Buffaloe. If this could be done India could be no. one in meat and leather production as meat and leather production is interlinked. It would revolutionize the fate of small and marginal farmers and the Indian economy, as meat is a lucrative export oriented industry. The stumbling block is the cheap feed and fodder production, transfer of technology, research and development, scientific animal rearing for quality meat production and government interventions. About 10 million male buffalo calves are allowed intentionally to die in India to save the dam milk as they are considered liability by the farmer for their no sale value. If these calves are saved and reared with high protein and energy diet and put weight upto 120 kgs in 10 months and then put to slaughter. They can also be reared free of antibiotics, hormones and growth promoters for organic meat and its export, which is tender, lean and juicy. Buffloe can also be reared under contractual farming conforming to the standards of sanitary and phytosanitary that of OIE.
Jammu and Kashmir has obsolete slaughter laws dating back to the Dogra rule of 1927 wherein Buffalo slaughter is banned. Having no taboo like the slaughter of cow, buffalo can be allowed for the slaughter and industrial production of meat for domestic and export of meat. J&K has abundant Buffaloe resources and the burden on the import of sheep and goats (20 lac) can be lowered to a great extent if necessary amendments are made in the slaughter laws.
Clandestine slaughter of bovine animals and their transport and smuggling both into the state and outside in a daily practice by the unscrupulous elements who evade tax and bribe the police. Buffaloe meat is lean and low in cholesterol and can be easily blended as corn meat, hot dog and sausages.
Setting of modern mechanized abattoirs both in public and private sector will ensure hygienic production of meat on sheep/goat, poultry and buffaloe and the utilization the slaughter house by products as meat and bone meal which has 50% protein and is an excellent poultry feed, pet food products and generation of employment. Meat industry is a tool for the food security and rural employment. The other day central government called special meeting of Chief Ministers under the chairmanship of Prime Minister over the spiraling price rise of the food items. Jammu and Kashmir has sufficient water and forest resources for cheap production of animals and their products it there and government will in this sector which is ignored and misgoverned. A state which is starved of meat and other animal products can become self-sufficient and a net exporter with the backing of the government and financial advances from the financial institutions.
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Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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