HYDERABAD: Among all the hullabaloo revolving ‘beef’ in the country, a recently released report by the United States Department of Agriculture- Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) has termed India one of the largest beef-consuming countries in the world. To be precise, the sixth largest after USA, China, European Union, Brazil and Argentina.
The April 2017 figure of total domestic beef consumption in India stands at 2.4 million Metric Tonnes(MT), such that India’s domestic beef consumption figure is much higher than that of neighbouring Pakistan, a country to which, infamously, in 2015, beef eaters were advised to go by the Union Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Pakistan’s beef consumption stood much lower than India at 1.7 million MT.
India’s beef consumption is much higher than traditionally meat consuming nations like Russia(1.78 million MT) and Japan (1.22 million MT). USA’s consumption stands at 12.12 million MT and China’s at 8.01 million MT. Although beef has become a contentious issue in India since the past few years and incidents have occurred wherein people have been murdered and flogged in the name of beef, India’s beef consumption is on a rise. Domestic beef consumption in India was around 2 million MT in 2013 and in four years till April 2017 it has increased by 400 thousand MT.
Same is the case with beef production. India’s beef production is fifth largest in the world after USA, Brazil, European Union and China. As per the USFDA-FAS report, India’s beef production increased from 3.8 million MT to 4.25 million MT in April this year, which is expected to grow to 4.35 million MT by October. USA’s production stands at 12 million MT and Brazil’s at 9.5 million MT.
Number one in export
When it comes to beef exports, India continues to be the top most in world as it exported 1.85 million MT of beef by April 2017. Brazil comes second with 1.80 million MT. Beef exports have also seen an increase from 2013 when it was 1.76 million MT. Exports saw a steep hike in the year 2014, when it peaked to 2.08 million MT.
India has almost 30 per cent of entire world’s cattle stock
India’s cattle stock is also highest in the world at 303 million cattle heads, much above Brazil which comes second at 226 million cattle heads. India has almost 30 pc of the entire world’s cattle stock. Same is the case with calf crop as India has the highest number of calf crop at 68 million cattle heads.