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USDA GAIN: Livestock and Products

18 September 2014

USDA GAIN: India Livestock and Products Annual 2014USDA GAIN: India Livestock and Products Annual 2014

For calendar year (CY) 2014 and CY 2015, the total cattle population is estimated to grow from 300.6 to 301.1 million head. The cattle population is revised based on 2012 livestock census data from the Government of India (GOI). CY 2014 and CY 2015 carabeef exports are forecast at 2 and 2.2 million tons carcass weight equivalent (CWE) on export pace and expectations of increased demand from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

USDA GAIN: Livestock and Products


Animal Numbers, Cattle
Meat, Beef and Veal


For CY 2014 and CY 2015, the total cattle population is estimated to grow from 300.6 to 301.1 million head. The cattle population is revised based on 2012 livestock census data from the GOI. According to this data, more cattle are being raised in the rural areas, with overall further declines in the urban cattle population. From approximately September 2013 to January/February 2014, there was a FMD outbreak in southern India, which restricted the interstate trade of livestock, particularly to the state of Kerala. According to official sources, vaccination campaigns helped stem the FMD outbreak, which they state is now under control. Livestock losses due to FMD eased the drop in total losses from CY 2013 to CY 2014.

CY 2014 and CY 2015 carabeef meat production is projected at 4.1 and 4.3 million tons CWE on improved weights due to better farm management and nutrition. Strong export demand from the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia is also expected to rise. For more details on the rising export demand for carabeef products, please refer to the Trade section of this report.

Industry and government sources believe that the overall cattle population will remain robust over the next decade on continued growth in the dairy sector. According to contacts, private sector investment has led to improvements in dairy management practices, including extension services, veterinary care, and improved genetics. However, challenges still remain, including a declining water table and limited feed supplies.

Buffalo livestock are raised throughout India on dairy farms; however, most dairies are located in northern and western India. Spent dairy water buffalo cattle are driven to municipal or private slaughter facilities for domestic production or export. Although most states have restrictions on buffalo slaughter, states such as Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab have high carabeef production due to higher Muslim populations (Figure 2).

Fig 2: Uttar Pradesh is the Highest Domestic Producer of Carabeef Buffalo Meat Producing Indian States (% share)

Source: Animal Husbandry Department


CY 2014 and CY 2015 consumption estimates are forecast to rise 3.1 and 3.5 percent to 2.1 and 2.175 million tons CWE on population growth, particularly for the Muslim population in India. Reportedly, more young consumers are willing to explore new foods, including carabeef, which may eventually drive future demand. Chilled and frozen carabeef is very limited due to a lack of cold chain operations; likewise, most consumers prefer fresh over frozen meat products. Overall meat consumption is expected to continue to rise on a growing middle class and stronger demand for high quality, competitively priced meat products. Chicken meat is the most widely consumed meat product (by volume), followed by carabeef.


Slaughter and meat processing are regulated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) through the Food Safety and Standards Rules and Regulation, 2011 (FSSR). The FSSR, 2011 contains standards and regulations for domestic and imported meat and meat products, and requires registration and licensing of meat processors and other food operators in the meat product value chain. For further details, please refer to FSSR notifications which are available on FSSAI's website and FAS GAIN Report IN3098.

The program entitled Modernization of Existing Abattoirs/establishment of Modern Abattoirs currently focuses on promoting private capital to introduce modern technologies and create stronger backward and forward linkages. During the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), this initiative will be implemented by state governments through the National Mission on Food Processing. For more information, please see FAS GAIN Report IN3098.

There are 53 approved Indian abattoirs-cum- meat processing plants serving the export market (for more details, please refer to List of Indian Integrated Abattoirs and Meat Processing Plants approved by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).


CY 2014 and CY 2015 carabeef exports are forecast at 2 and 2.2 million tons CWE on export pace and expectations of increased demand from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Vietnam and Malaysia are the largest export markets for India (See Figure below). Most importers prefer Indian carabeef due to price competiveness and because it is halal. Carabeef exports to India are heavily restricted for all sources.

Fig 3: Vietnam and Malaysia are India’s Largest Export Markets for Carabeef

Source: Global Trade Atlas

According to the current Export and Import Policy of the Government of India, each export consignment is subject to compulsory laboratory testing. If passed, the product receives a pre- shipment health inspection certificate (one certificate is issued per consignment). For more details, please see GAIN report IN3098.

The Government of India has given the following agencies authority to issue health certificates.

  1. All State Directorates of Animal Husbandry
  2. Export Inspection Agencies (EIAs)
  3. Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI)
  4. Deonar abattoir, Mumbai (for chilled sheep and goat meat only)
  5. Ghazipur abattoir, Delhi (for buffalo, sheep and goats)
  6. Perumbur abattoir, Chennai (for buffalo, sheep and goats)


Carabeef Meat Production Programs and Policy

The Department of Animal Husbandry (DAHD) in the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) supports state governments on issues such as animal diseases, genetic resources, feed and fodder research, processing and marketing facilities, and livestock production. The MOA also continues to support national level programs for major diseases such as FMD, peste des petits (PPR), and brucellosis. The FMD control program, which administers vaccines to livestock, is expected to occur in stages during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). For more details on these various programs, please see the Livestock and Products Annual 2013 (GAIN report number IN3098).

The Rashtriya Gokul Mission, which is under the National Program for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBDD), was recently launched to enhance the productivity of indigenous breeds through professional farm management. The goal is to increase milk production and genetic improvement using elite indigenous breeds. The project will be implemented through state agencies such as the livestock development boards, and include other institutions and partners such as the Central Frozen Semen Production and Training Institute, central cattle breeding farms, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, universities, colleges, non-governmental organizations, and cooperative societies. The project is expected to receive $28.58 million, which is 35 percent of NPBBDD’s budget.

DAHD manages 18 central livestock organizations and other institutions that produce and distribute germplasm to state governments for crossbreeding and genetic enhancement. According to the MOA, in the last 13 years, semen production has increased from 22 million to 81 million straws; moreover, over 62 million livestock have been serviced using artificial insemination, which rose over 200 percent. Reportedly, conception rates rose from 20 percent to 35 percent, which have increased the livestock population by 18 million. Furthermore, government funding has been made available to participating state governments for procuring quality bulls for natural service, developing bull production programs, and establishing Open Nucleus Breeding System (ONBS) farms, which breed indigenous livestock for further crossbreeding and research.

India has limited cultivable land for growing crops, which is mostly devoted to producing food grains, oilseeds, and pulses. Likewise, grazing pasture has degraded due to overuse or urban sprawl. Government programs falling under the Ration Balancing Program and Accelerated Fodder Development initiative strive to improve animal nutrition by distributing information on nutrient requirements and local production of fodder. More information can be found at and

Trade Policy

The GOI has established procedures for the importation of livestock and related products to India through the Livestock Importation Act, 1898. These procedures are implemented by the DAHD and are available at:, which also issues guidelines for germplasm imports. Tariffs for selected livestock products are shown in Table 3.

September 2014

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