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‘Self-sufficient’ in meat production, Tripura has set 2027 target for eggs, none for milk

Thirty-three per cent of locally produced meat comes from pigs and the rest from goat, poultry and other sources.

ARDD minister Bhagaban Das speaks to media at Agartala. (Express Photo)

Tripura on Friday claimed to have become self-sufficient in meat production and said it was aiming to become self-sufficient in egg production in the next four-five years.

However, the state of an estimated 40.38 lakh people is yet to fix any target for achieving the goal in milk production even as its Animal Resource Development Department (ARDD) claimed significant progress in raising female cows with the help of artificial insemination.

Speaking to reporters, ARDD minister Bhagaban Das said, “We have been steadily progressing in milk, meat and egg production. In 2020, we faced the deadly Covid pandemic… Despite that, we have succeeded a bit. We have already become self-sufficient in meat production, especially in poultry. We have a new policy for augmenting egg production and hope we can fulfil our egg requirement from our own production in the next four-five years.”

As per an ARDD report, the state raised its meat production from 11.64 kg per head in 2017-18 to 13.40 kg per head in the last financial year. While the state’s total meat demand in 2021-22 stood at 49.85 thousand metric tons annually, it produced 54.09 thousand metric tons on its own, up from 45.46 thousand metric tons in 2017-18.

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ARDD secretary Tarun Kanti Debnath reasoned that the department’s estimates of the state’s requirements were based on the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) recommendations. “According to their recommendations, we have achieved self-sufficiency in meat production,” Debnath said.

The minister said that 33 per cent of the state’s meat production came from pigs and the rest from goats, poultry birds and other sources. “Meat production in the state has increased. We are modifying the production systems. A new system has already started working in villages and ADC (tribal autonomous district council) areas,” he said.

On the egg production front, the department official said the state could now meet 55.24 per cent of its requirement. “We are providing assistance and subsidies to poultry rearers. There are many new poultry farms coming up,” the official said.

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As per the report, the egg sector saw 5.24 per cent growth in the last financial year. It produces enough to ensure 78 eggs per head every year.

In the milk sector, the production was at 217.09 thousand metric tons, against the requirement of 257.48 thousand metric tons. It registered 5.30 per cent growth in 2021-22, meaning that everyone drank 147.28g of milk a year on average.

The government also said it had achieved significant success in the sex-sorted artificial insemination of cows and that 90 per cent of calves born through the process in the past two years were female.

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Cattle rearers are now being provided a special feed subsidy to augment production. “The state will benefit largely from this project. However, we cannot fix any deadline for milk self-sufficiency now,” an official said.

In 2002-03 the state set a 10-year target for food self-sufficiency. With barely 25 thousand metric tons of meat, 12.5 crore eggs and 1.05 metric tons of milk produced annually, the target could not be met in 2012-13.

Later, the government set a target of 2020 for self-sufficiency in food production but was unsuccessful too. Earlier in 2020, then chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb said his government was trying to double the income of farmers and poultry farmers by introducing high-yield varieties and intensive cultivation.

First published on: 12-08-2022 at 11:30:36 pm
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