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Strategies to Improve Buffalo Meat Industry

Survey projects on production and marketing may be deployed as base material for projection at national and international levels, for the prediction of future trends and for the formulation of meat industry developmental programmes.

Meat scientists and animal geneticists should collaborate their research aiming at developing a potential cross bred buffalo for meat purpose. Research projects on buffalo meat technology should focus on working slaughter grades of buffaloes as in USDA for beef. Buffalo meat affords an easy means of preparing low priced fast meat foods by restricting the cost of raw material. So, the focus area of research should be low cost ready to eat buffalo meat products. The other area is to design appropriate technologies to improve the quality of meat from spent animals. Research should focus on extension of self-life of traditional buffalo meat products available in our country and making necessary efforts for patenting them.

The Government should encourage and give subsidies/incentives to start meat and by-products processing industries. Increasing the production of superior calves through embryo transfer technology, better disease control, adequate nutrition and improved levels of hygiene at meat handling will enable India a quantum jump in meat production by utilizing the surplus male calves. Financial institutions should come forward to finance activities related to buffalo meat trade.

Appropriate consumer education programmes on popularization of quality and health benefits of buffalo meat and products will provide a cheap source of animal protein to the masses. The demand for buffalo meat products will serve as a catalyst for all developmental programmes on buffalo meat production. A very strong rapport must be built between liaison offices, meat industries, meat corporations, research workers and nodal bodies like APEDA (Agricultural and Processed food products Export Development Authority) and Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) for exchange of information and overall improvement of meat industry and national economy.

Government should make efforts to upgrade municipal slaughter houses to semi modern abattoirs with all basic requirements and minimum hygienic standards. In the present context of WTO agreement on sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures, the hygienic standards of existing meat plants should be improved and made at par with the best in the world. The control measures for FMD should be strengthened and adequately controlled areas should be declared as disease free zones to stabilize export market by producing meat for export from such areas. The Government should encourage setting up cold storages, supply/value chain and 100% export oriented buffalo slaughter houses in major buffalo belts of the country.

Source: international Journal of livestock Production vol.1(1),pp.001-005,August,2009.