Northeast has the potential to be a Pork Export Hub: Chairman APEDA

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-NET Web Desk

With pork processing units coming up at Nazira, Assam, and Majitar Sikkim Northeast may soon emerge as the pork export hub of India. The one being set up in Nazira is set to be the largest facility of its kind in the country.

On Northeast India’s potential in the piggery sector APEDA Chairman, M Angamuthu informed the Economic Times that “There is a high demand for pork from India’s neighbours such as Myanmar and Bhutan and Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong.”

He also believed that with renewed focus on the Act East policy Northeast India’s untapped potential as a pork exporter “will fit well” to be explored. The vision is to export pork to high-value markets of Europe and the west as well, he said.

Even amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Financial Year 2019-20, India’s value of pork export was $1.67 million. Bhutan and Nepal being the key export locations. Sadly, the contribution of Northeast India to this export volume was virtually nil even though it houses nation’s biggest swine population. The state of Assam, rears 2.1 million pigs out of India’s 9.06 million, according to the 2019 livestock census. Jharkhand, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland are the other states with large pig populations.

The pork processing plant in the upper Assam town of Nazira in Sivasagar district is being constructed for Rs 11.4 crore under a PPP model of the Central government’s Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES). It will have the capacity of processing 400 pigs a day. The one coming up at Majitar in East Sikkim will have a capacity of processing 40 pigs where priority will be given to the naturally reared.

It is to be noted that the current pork processing capacity of Northeast is 500 pigs. However, these units are scattered all over and use unhygienic methods for processing thus failing to meet the export criteria.

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