Bovines are the second largest source of meat in India after poultry, and ahead of goat and sheep. According to the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHDF), total meat production in 2012-13 stood at 59.5 lakh tonnes (lt), of which poultry contributed 26.8 lt, followed by beef (14.3 lt: 11 lt from buffalo and 3.3 lt from cattle) and mutton (13.8 lt: 9.4 lt from goat and 4.4 lt from sheep). Pork or pig meat accounted for slightly over 4.5 lt.
The above numbers are based on estimates from state animal husbandry departments on the number of animals slaughtered and average meat yields per animal. These could well be on the lower side, as they do not really take into account illegal or backyard slaughter.
Besides, in the case of buffalo meat, there is discrepancy between DAHDF production data and that of the Department of Commerce with regard to exports. The latter data shows India’s exports of buffalo meat in 2012-13, at 11.08 lt, to be more than the estimated 11.04 lt domestic production for the same year. In 2014-15, buffalo meat shipments totaled 14.76 lt and were valued at $4.78 billion.
The production figures, nevertheless, gives an overall idea of the magnitudes as well as break-up by source and the major producing states in each case. Uttar Pradesh is the country’s largest meat producer (11.37 lt), followed by Andhra Pradesh (9.06 lt) and West Bengal (6.48 lt).
Apart from 59.5 lt of meat, India also produced 90.40 lt of fish in 2012-13, with Andhra Pradesh (18.08 lt), West Bengal (14.90 lt) and Gujarat (7.88 lt) occupying the top three positions.
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