To boost exports of value-added meat products, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying Parshottam Rupala has called on stakeholders to work towards the creation of region-specific animal disease-free zones in the country.
Rupala, while inaugurating the National Business Meet on promoting exports of value-added meat products organized by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in New Delhi, said that even in case of a single outbreak of disease amongst poultry bird, the entire country is referred as ‘disease affected’.
“All the stakeholders must take small steps and work to declare small regions- a few districts at a time, as disease-free,” said Rupala, while referring to the model of Sikkim being declared as an organic state and its products command a premium in the market.
He said there is a need to initiate a survey with all stakeholders to prepare a road map with actionable points to make India disease-free in terms of animal health. “At the same time, we must have an action plan for identifying contaminated areas and quarantine just like we have done for prevention of COVID19,” Rupala noted.
While stating that the Ministry of Animal Husbandry is working for the development of infrastructure for improving animal wellness, health and nutrition to ensure an increase in productivity and quality, he also stated that while the world acknowledges India’s administering record number of COVID19 vaccinations, the government is currently running a massive vaccination drive for animals for eradicating Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis amongst the livestock.
In September, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme to control and eradicate the FMD and Brucellosis amongst the livestock in the country. The Centre has allocated Rs 12,652 crore under the Central Government sponsored programme which aimed at vaccinating more than 600 million cattle in the country in an effort to mitigate the two diseases.
APEDA promotes exports of agriculture and animal fresh and processed products by setting standards and specifications, suggesting and supporting improvement in packaging, marketing strategies, facilitating the development of products for export, setting export zones, and organising Buyer-Seller meets to connect our exporters with relevant importers in destination markets.
APEDA along with exporters has successfully written many success stories in several sectors like Mango, Grapes, Bananas, Bakery products, including Meat and meat products.