Those consuming meat in the state can be a happy lot. Meat Products of India (MPI), the state PSU based at Edayar, Koothattukulam, which is credited for releasing quality meat products in the market and having a strong brand name, has chalked out an ambitious scheme to meet the ever-increasing consumption needs in the state.
MPI has received the nod to establish a Rs 10.03 crore hi-tech processing plant on its Chalakudy campus for the modernised processing facilities of buffalo and goat and poultry meat along with a hatchery to provide a steady supply of chicks.
The blueprint for the project was finalised at a recent meeting held here at the instance of Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan the other day.
At present, MPI has a modern meat processing plant on its campus in Edayar. A modern automated poultry processing unit is also functioning there.
However, the meat plant has only facilities now to slaughter and process pigs. “The proposed processing plant for goats and buffaloes will handle 200 large animals a day and produce 15 metric tonnes of meat,’’ said Ani K Das, managing director of Kerala Livestock Development Board and MPI, who is keenly pursuing the project.
It has been estimated that Kerala has a requirement of about 3.5 lakh metric tonnes of meat per annum, but the state’s current production is only about 2 lakh metric tonnes.
Incidentally, 90 per cent of the production in the state is uncertified. “The carcasses of buffaloes and goats are being brought from neighboring states and the production of these meat products is being limited by the constraints to source carcasses against demand.
“Also, chicks are procured from distant government-run poultry farms, eventually hiking the cost. The high-tech plant will be a zero waste venture, with a state-of-the-art effluent treatment plant,’’he said.
Buffalo, goat and poultry meat hold a high place in the menu of the Kerala non-vegetarians, which is also about 90 per cent of the population.
It is against this backdrop that MPI has decided to increase the production and market share.
The availability of 15 acres of unused land with MPI at Chalakudy was listed as an added advantage.
“For ensuring raw material supply, Kerala Livestock Development Board plans to distribute male animals from the hi-tech farms of at Kolahalamed in Idukki and from all the Animal Husbandry farms of the state to farmers for fattening.
“The animals will be used for slaughter later. The project is billed to create employment opportunities for 163 people directly and about 30,000 farmers indirectly.