Pink revolution refers to the modernisation of the meat and poultry processing sector. Modernisation refers to the specialization, mechanization and standardization of processes in the meat industry. Technological upgradation and industrialisation is necessary for Indian entities to keep up with global standards. Also, adoption and development of mass production capabilities will help the industry be more productive. There is especially immense scope for development of the domestic market. A sizeable number of Indians still prefer to buy meat at the local shop or from the wet market instead of standardized packaged meat. Additionally, in light of the increasing threat of zoonotic diseases, it is important for India to maintain or build top notch facilities so that exports from India do not get banned by other countries.
Nature of the meat producing industry in India
India became the largest exporter of buffalo meat in 2012. Buffalo meat constitutes approximately 97% of total Indian meat exports. During the period of April to November 2014 itself, India exported meat and meat products worth $3.3 billion. Hence, it is a major export for India.
The meat industry has been growing at a steady rate of 10 to 15% annually thanks to growing domestic demands as well as high exports. The sector has also benefitted from some favourable economic policies such as permitting 100% FDI etc.
FAO’s ‘Indian Meat Industry Perspective’
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has made many salient points regarding the scenario in India in its report titled ‘Indian Meat Industry Perspective’-
- India is 8th in the world in terms of meat production
- India produces 4.9 million tonnes of meat on an annual basis
- As of late, the meat production sector has been growing at a high rate of 27%
- Bovine meat constitutes 60% of the total meat production, whereas pigs, poultry and small ruminants each constitute 10%, 12% and 15% respectively
- Only marginal processing of approximately 1% of the meat takes place for ready to eat meat products.
- Though it hasn’t hit its stride yet, steps are being taken in India to modernize meat and poultry processing
The FAO also recommended four steps that the Indian government must undertake in order to trigger a pink revolution:-
- Set up modern, state-of-the-art meat processing plants
- Develop technologies to raise male buffalo calves for meat production
- Increase the number of farmers who are engaged in rearing buffalo under contractual farming
- Establish disease free zones to assist in the safe and hygienic rearing of livestock