State tops in meat consumption

Daily requirement of 5,000 tonnes; chicken preferred the most

Kerala is the highest consumer of meat, with its daily requirement touching 5,000 tonnes, according to the State Animal Husbandry Department.

Close to 80 per cent of the State's population is non-vegetarian, says Animal Husbandry Director R. Vijayakumar. “But domestic production of meat (beef, mutton, and chicken) is only around 264.31 tonnes,” Mr. Vijaykumar says.

The department has collected the data for a national meet in Gujarat to review the production of meat and allied products. The survey has found chicken to be the most-preferred meat. From a 6 per cent share in 1990, it now accounts for 45 per cent of meat consumed in Kerala.

Fast food habit

“The eating profile of our people has undergone a huge change,” Mr. Vijayakumar said.

“With a large number of IT professionals working in key centres, the fast food habit has picked up hugely. Hence meat is the most preferred item,” he adds.

In 2009-10, Keralites spent Rs.2,844 crore on chicken, of which Rs.1,752 crore went to poultry farms outside the State. “There is huge potential to rear chicken, pig, goats, and even rabbit,” the Director says.

“Now all the money is going to neighbouring States,” Vijaykumar says adding “we are going to give huge emphasis to this sector in our plans.”

Kottayam, Thrissur, and Malappuram lead the State's 14 districts in meat consumption.

In 2009-10, a record 6.1 million cattle came into the State through various check-posts; another 1.8 million are estimated to have entered unchecked.

Of the 33 million people in Kerala, according to Mr. Vijaykumar, Christians and Muslims together constitute around 47 per cent and most of the meat-eaters are from these communities.

“If people in our State take to animal husbandry seriously, it would only benefit them,” Mr. Vijayakumar adds. — IANS

  • Domestic production only around 264.31 tonnes
  • Potential for rearing chicken, pig, goats, rabbits

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