Market access for India carabeef limited due to FMD - GAIN

India targets controlling FMD with vaccinations by 2025
calendar icon 15 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

India is the world’s largest producer of water buffalo meat (carabeef), according to a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report. Water buffalo meat is the meat derived from the Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). In 2023, FAS New Delhi (Post) projects India’s carabeef production at around 4.4 million metric tons (MMT) on a carcass-weight-equivalent basis.

Carabeef is one of India’s main agricultural export commodities. In 2022, India exported about 1.44 MMT of carabeef ($2.9 billion), accounting for about 33% of its production; making India globally the fourth largest exporter of red meat. To date, India has reportedly exported some 0.59 MMT of carabeef ($1.22 billion), down nearly 4% compared to the 0.61 MMT ($1.25 billion) reported at the same period in 2022.

Notwithstanding strong production numbers, Indian livestock remains exposed to and afflicted by various livestock diseases, including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). As a result, India lacks market access for its carabeef exports to several high-income countries such as the United States.

Several countries, including the United States, ban the import of carabeef from those states classified as being FMD-endemic by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). In fact, nearly three- quarters of India’s carabeef exports go to those trade partners that are themselves classified by the WOAH as being FMD-endemic.

Notwithstanding that since 2003 formal FMD control programs are ongoing in India; the outreach of these programs has not been sufficiently successful enough to control foot-and-mouth disease. Under a 2019 program – the National Animal Disease Control Program (NADCP) – India targets controlling FMD with vaccinations by 2025, with the eradication of the disease by 2030. Under current conditions the WOAH and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) cannot recognize India as FMD-free.

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