India is one of the world’s leading exporters of buffalo meat. Despite Covid -19 Pandemic for over a year now, India has been able to achieve its exports valued at USD 3.17 billion in the year 2020-21 which is at the previous year’s level of exports (2019-20). The value realization of buffalo meat also went up from USD 2754 to 2921 per MT. The nutritious and risk free Buffalo meat is very popular in more than 70 countries across the world. Top Indian buffalo meat importing countries are Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Philippines and UAE. The Buffalo meat is prepared and exported in accordance with OIE guidelines for any risk mitigation. Only boneless buffalo meat is allowed for export from India which is safe and risk free.
Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry has said that all importing countries can safely procure Indian origin frozen boneless Buffalo meat. The Buffalo meat exports from India are going on smoothly and there are no hurdles in supply chain. The affordably priced buffalo meat is contributing towards food security and food price inflation control in the importing countries.
There have been several interventions by the Government of India to control and eradicate various livestock diseases. The Launching of the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) in June, 2019 to control Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis by 2025 with vaccination and eradication of disease by 2030 is one of the flagship scheme of GOI. In order to fully contain and eradicate the diseases, 100% cost of vaccine is borne by the Central Government for which an outlay of Rs. 13,343 crore has been made. Under this programme all vaccinated animals are ear tagged and a complete traceability is maintained. In addition, the Govt. of India has also been implementing several schemes for prevention, control and containment of Livestock diseases of economic importance such as FMD. India’s official FMD Control Programme received OIE’s endorsement, as per the provisions of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
World class meat processing infrastructure is available in India which is certified for Quality Management, Food Safety Management and Environment management systems.
International organizations such as OIE, WHO and FAO have issued guidelines which categorically mention that it is highly unlikely that people can contact Covid -19 from food or food packaging. Covid -19 is a respiratory disease and the primary transmission route is through person to person contact. As per the guidelines of these International organizations, Indian meat processing establishments are following physical distancing, stringent hygiene and sanitation measures. Regular training is given to staff and workers on food safety practices.