US pork now eligible for India
Pig meat consumption in India stood at 295,000 tonnes last year and US pork exporters may access that market from this year on, according to a press release from US Meat Federation Export (USMEF). "After many years of negotiations, India is now open to U.S. pork and pork products. This change is now reflected in the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) Export Library for India," announced USMEF. During the last decade, pork consumption in India has dropped from 354,100 tonnes to 295,000 tonnes.
The piggery sector in India is gaining slow but steady momentum. Owing to their fecundity, early maturity, and short generation interval, pigs are an ideal animal for intensive farming. In addition, the initial investment and maintenance is minimal. The majority of the pig population in India is distributed along the central and north-eastern belt of the country. In 2019, Assam, at over two million, had the highest population of pigs in India. Most of the pork consumption is limited to northeastern states like Assam and Nagaland. Consequently, the north-eastern region also ranks high in pork production volume. In 2015, these states in India produced around 117,000 tonnes of pork.
India is a net importer of pork. Due to a significant share of vegetarians and Muslims in India, the demand for pork is usually limited to the hotel, restaurant, and institutional sectors (HRI). Most pork imports are in the form of processed meat. In 2018, India imported over 500 tonnes of this meat. On the other hand, the pork exports for the same year were around 270 tonnes, reported Statista.
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