At a time the BJP-led governments in the Centre and the states are embarked on a crackdown spree on beef, a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD) revealed that India is the world’s third-biggest exporter of beef and is projected to hold on to that position over the next decade.
OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 report released this week, said that India exported 1.56 million tonnes of beef last year and was expected to maintain “its position as the third-largest beef exporter, accounting for 16 per cent of global exports in 2026” by exporting 1.93 tonnes that year.
The type of beef exported was not specified, but the meat exported appeared to be mostly from buffaloes as the report specified the animal for imports by Myanmar from India. According to the OECD database, India imported 363,000 tonnes of beef last year and the amount was projected to stay the same over the decade.
The total world beef exports in 2016 was 10.95 million tonnes and was expected to increase to 12.43 million tonnes by 2026, according to the FAO. The Outlook report ranked Brazil as the world’s top beef exporter, followed by Australia.
The Central government had banned sale of cattle for slaughter earlier, which has been stayed by the Supreme Court. Several states too have imposed restrictions on beef trade and consumption. Cow has been a poltical tool ever since the BJP government came to power and several people from Muslims and Dalits were attacked and even killed by groups having allegiance to the ruling party for allegedly possessing beef.