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Published in the 16-30 Sep 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Import of buffalo meat from India 

New Delhi : Saudi Arabia has removed 22-year old restriction on import of buffalo meat from India. The Union ministry of agriculture hopes that after Basmati rice, Indian buffalo meat would also be much in demand in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia had banned import of buffalo meat from India in 1982 after discovering some harmful elements in buffalo meat imported from India. After this export of Indian buffalo meat had very much decreased. Saudi Arabia removed import restrictions after OIE, an organisation in Paris, confirmed in May this year that the harmful virus in the Indian buffalo meat was eliminated .

According to director general of Agricultural Products Export and Development Agency (APEDA), R.K. Goyal, Saudi Arabia can now import 3000 containers of Buffalo meat annually from India. One container contains 25 tonnes of meat. If this happens, Saudi Arabia could become the second biggest market for Indian buffalo meat after Malayasia. He added that Saudi Arabia purchased 0.4 million tonnes of beef annually from USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina. After reports of ‘mad cow’ disease, Saudi Arabia cut down the import of beef from these countries. The advantage will go to India.

Samar Qureshi, director of the Delhi-based export company, Hind Agro-Industries Ltd, said that the Saudi market will be very useful for India. He said that Indian exporters are presently exporting 3500 tonnes of buffalo meat every month.
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